Girl Scout holds Robotics Camp for Children to receive Gold Award

Photo by Emily Thiel Leslie Raymond, 10, Morgantown, (in middle) and Mia Deye, 11, Geigertown, work together during robotics camp.
Photo by Emily Thiel Robotics camp.

With a goal of earning her Gold Award, Girl Scout Lucy Horn, 17, Reading, hosted a two-week long robotics camp for students interested in learning how to build and operate robots at the Dunn Community Center, Exeter Township, recently.

Horn started her career in Girl Scouts as a Brownie in third grade. Under leadership of Troop 1091 leader Michelle Koch, Horn is focusing to acquire the highest level of achievement Girl Scout; the Girl Scout Gold Award is the equivalent to the Eagle Scout ranking for boys.

In a total of 80 hours, (45 of that being preparations), Horn’s nine camp class for third to seventh graders challenged students with a Lego Green City challenge.

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“There’s a lack of robotics and science,” Horn said as to why she chose to highlight robots. “STEM is a growing field....I’m introducing that idea for the youth.”

STEM represents science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and during the first week of the camp, Horn focused on educating the students about robots. The second week, children were broken into groups, each with their own mission to build a robot using Lego Mindstorm NXT. The students manually program the robot with movements to allow the robot to act independent of assistance. In harmony with the green theme, a windmill, solar panels and dam were constructed from Legos to act as the mission for the robot. The ultimate goal, once the team releases the robot, is for it to act automatically to perform a task which results in the release of a ball.

“I like using computers and programming,” Katie Rimby, 9, Birdsboro, said during the class. “The goal is to release the ball.”

The step-by-step instructions programmed through the computer orchestrate the robot, which result in a dynamic and exciting experience while promoting an eco-friendly world.

“It’s like science,” Mia Deye, 11, Geigertown, said. “It’s cool how you can have control over something without anyone touching it or helping it.”

Challenges filled the day as students worked together to build and maneuver the robotic machine.

“I like building things,” Leslie Raymond, 10, Morgantown, said. “We program them on the computer.”

It was about a year ago when Horn began thinking generating ideas of how she could go about receiving her Gold Award. For her Silver Project, Horn worked with The Children’s Home of Reading, helping with construction projects and donating school supplies for the home. The Girl Scout is focused on continuing to work with children in a variety of ways. With her passions and looking toward the future, Horn has long-term goals to work in pediatric care, helping children with their motor skills.

Volunteers Carly Moore, 17, Reading, Carlee Mayo, 14, Reading, Trista Mayo, 14, Reading, Jaclyn Ferraro, 15, Reading, and Mason Rabenold, 14, served as group leaders during the class.

About the Author

Emily Thiel

Emily Thiel is the editor of The Southern Berks News and is the Community Engagement Editor for Berks-Mont Newspapers. Emily joined Berks-Mont in March 2013. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2011 with a degree in English with a concentration in Cultural and Media Studies. Emily is a native of Allentown, Pa. Reach the author at ethiel@berksmontnews.com or follow Emily on Twitter: @sthrnberksnews.