Girl in Classroom

+ Coming Fall 2021 

Girls of color robotics league

In high school, our founder Danielle Boyer (Indigenous – Ojibwe) felt unwelcome as a girl in the local robotics team. She nearly stopped pursuing her love of engineering altogether because of how she was treated. Her love for mentorship is what kept her pursuing her passion for making robotics education accessible. But, Danielle isn’t alone. Her mentee, Vinaya Gunasekar (Indian), has had similar experiences for years as a student in robotics. She is only 13. In a poll of 30 local girls of color, 90% said that they were afraid of pursuing their interest in robotics because of how others would treat them. Now newly entering high school at the same school that Danielle attended, Vinaya fears the robotics culture. They saw an opportunity to start a program that combines two things that matter very much to them in a safe and loving environment: mentorship and robotics for girls like them.  

 

The Girls of Color Engineering League is a free year-long intensive engineering program for 20 high school students who identify as girls or femmes of color from Oakland County and Wayne County, Michigan who are afraid of joining a robotics team. Each month, two cohorts of students will complete a unique engineering project varying from language learning robots to recycling robots with minority engineering professionals. Utilizing our replicable culturally competent curriculum, robots invented in-house by Danielle and Vinaya, and unique hands-on robotics projects, students will learn how to design solutions to create positive change. Mid-program, they will be paired with mentees who are in middle school virtually and will complete five engineering projects together. We will work with our Indigenous networks and emphasize Native youth. Roughly three out of every ten Indigenous students drop out before graduating from high school in both reservations and cities (U.S. Department of Education). Studies show that mentorship helps reduce dropout rates. We want to support our communities.

 

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