Marian’s new robotics room brings new opportunities for STEM students

Lily Blake

Coming back to school after a long summer, there were obviously many changes to the interior of the school; one of the many changes was the new robotics room located on the first floor, attached to the physics lab of Mr. Matthew Winterboer. This room replaced the vibrant green walls of the Student Board room with a sleek, modern and technologically advanced space for the STEM department to work their wonders. Fully stocked with a 3D printer, a competition-sized robotics test run floor, hundreds of robot parts, tools for days and even a virtual reality set, this year’s robotics space is surely equipped for anything the club members could dream.

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The biggest advantage of this new room to Dr. Sharon Genoways, moderator of the Robotics Club, is the ability for girls to work on projects outside of allotted club time. “A lot of the times we stop part way through a build [of a robot] and have to walk away, so one benefit is that we can start back right where we left off.” The Robotics Club space in years past was in the S.T.E.M. room, however, with classes almost every block and hundreds of students flooding in and out of the room each day, the safety of the robots that club members had built was at stake if they did not put everything away each time they begun to work on their project. Now, girls have the opportunity to leave their robots in the perfect dimensions of the new space and have the comfort of knowing they can start right where they left off on an untouched robot.

The robotics room will also double as a workspace for girls enrolled in Marian’s CAD (computer-aided design) class. In this class, girls have the ability to digitally design spaces and now that Marian has a virtual reality set, they have the opportunity to walk through the spaces they will design in upcoming months. This experience would not be possible if it were not for this new space, perfectly tailored to the needs of robotics and CAD girls.

“I would love the S.T.E.M. program to increase exponentially,” Genoways said. This year Marian has added classes like cyber security, app development and increased emphasis on S.A.M.E. (Society of American Military Engineers) in hopes to give more and more girls an outlet to explore the field of S.T.E.M., a field in dire need of more strong and smart women alike those amidst the school’s walls.

Now that the new robotics room is fully in motion, Genoways hopes to increase student involvement in the Robotics Club as well. The big window outside of the room exposes the whole interior to anyone walking past, so if you ever get curious as to what the robotics girls actually do, take a peek inside and discover all of those brain cells being put to work.

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