Program At Naval Academy Aims To Get Kids Interested In Math And Science

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — From building rockets to programming robots, this is easy work for hundreds of young girls in Maryland.

Tim Williams explains a weekend program aims to get them interested and involved in math and science.

More than 200 middle school students took part in a girls-only STEM workshop held at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.

“We’re trying to introduce the girls to some areas, some fields that they’ve never experienced before,” said Angela Moran, STEM chair, U.S. Naval Academy. “Like mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, biometrics, biomedical engineering.”

The girls built gliders, listened to lectures and even programmed robots to move through a maze.

“We’re trying to make the robot turn down the lanes,” one girl said.

It was quite the challenge.

“I just keeps turning around and around,” another girl said.

Since the girls are at such an impressionable age, educators say it’s critical to reach them now to get them interested in math, science and technology.

“You’ve got to plant the seed, then you’ve got to cultivate,” said Mark Murray, assistant STEM director. “You’ve got to water, you’ve got to fertilize.”

And this kind of hands-on learning really makes a difference.

“Instead of just sitting and learning through lecture, they’re getting a chance to dive in–do–make mistakes, learn from their failures and succeed in a lot of different areas,” Moran said.

More than 100 parents also attended workshops to learn about nutrition and future college or career opportunities for their daughters, whose bright futures could take them anywhere.

Thirty female faculty members and 40 midshipmen organized the event.

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