National Robotics Week, celebrated from April 1-8, is an annual time designated for inspiring people of all ages to become more interested in robotics and highlighting the latest innovations. As a member of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri Robotics program, Alyson Palmquist, a junior at Lafayette High School, knows first-hand the importance of introducing the fields of STEM and robotics to girls at a young age.
To earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, Palmquist partnered with the St. Louis Student’s Robotics Association to develop fun and simple STEM and programming activities for local children in underdeveloped communities. Palmquist created a unique board game to teach the basics of programming to young students. Her game has three different board designs offering various ways to play the game, printed game cards, and six game pieces she made using a 3D printer.
Through her project, Palmquist also led her team of volunteers to host events at local elementary schools and STEM camps to demonstrate her game to 140 children during six events. She also created instructions for her game and shared them with local robotics teams and with St. Louis Student’s Robotics Association to use with outreach efforts and programs. Palmquist promoted her project on social media and created a website.
“I wanted to pursue earning my Gold Award because I really enjoy STEM and want other kids, especially young girls, to realize how fun robotics can be,” said Palmquist. “I was able to share my passions with kids at events where I led them through the game and saw them enjoy the puzzle and programming ideas.”
The Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest award in Girl Scout – is earned by Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors, girls in 9th-12th grade, who dedicate more than 80 hours identifying a need in their community and providing lasting solutions to issues in their neighborhoods and beyond. Gold Award Girl Scouts truly are the world changers, rock stars, role models, and real-life heroes we all look up to.