All-girl STEM team builds problem-solving robot

1 year 1 day 21 hours ago Friday, October 13 2017 Oct 13, 2017 Friday, October 13, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT October 13, 2017 in Top Stories
By: Lauren Magarino, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The girls on a robotics team were not at all happy when their coach, Katie Hurst told them: “Out of 100 percent of people, we’ve got only only 29 percent of that for science and engineering are girls.”

“That kind of sucks,” Sophie Terry said. 

“That’s not very cool is it?” Hurst asked.  

This was the start to a team meeting, which happens every Wednesday after school. Sophie, Maryam Hurst, Kylie Journell and Olivia Chang, all fourth graders in Columbia, will compete in the First Lego League in November. 

It is a tournament where children ages 9-16 work in teams to research a real-world problem, create a solution and build a Lego robot to demonstrate it. The event works to promote science, technology, engineering and math concepts, also known as STEM skills.   

This year’s theme is Hydrodynamics- the human water cycle. The girls decided to find a way to get clean water to hurricane victims.

“I suggested that we learn a bit about hurricanes and so did Olivia, and that just led us to where we’re at in the long run,” Sophie said.

Dustin and Katie Hurst, Maryam’s parents, co-coach the team.

“What we’re seeing is growing minds, and we’re trying our best to encourage that and not construct or limit that," Dustin Hurst said. "What we’re doing now for these girls pays off in a week, in a year, in a decade and them carrying this skill-set into a successful life, whatever they do."

Both coaches said they experienced difficulty when they switched from a parent role to that of a coach.

“As an adult and having experience, we look at the kids trying to make a decision, and we know in our heads what the right decision is, but we’re not allowed to tell them. It can sometimes be painful to see them work to get to that decision. That part is hard to just sit back. It’s really hard to be hands off,” Dustin Hurst said.

While the Hursts can't steer the girls in a particular direction, they and other parents are helping in other ways.

"We had a conference call with the divisional director of FEMA, and two people from Boone County Emergency Management come to the house, and a professor from the university that works in the Water Research Center. They were able to just kind of talk through things," Dustin Hurst said. 

He said it takes a collaborative effort to get expert sources to talk with the girls.

“This team wouldn’t work well without the parents also. They’ve been really good,” he said.  

All parents involved have a common goal for the girls.

“Thinking is a big part of what we’re trying to encourage, just thinking,” Dustin Hurst said.

It costs the team close to $2,000 to participate in the league. There is a GoFundMe page for anyone who wants to donate.

 

More News

Grid
List
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) — Joanne Garone Behnke has replayed every possible scenario in her mind a hundred times. ... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 8:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(AP) - Two companies facing multiple lawsuits over a summer tourist boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 people have... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 7:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - A federal judge has dismissed adult film star Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump. Daniels... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:57:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MEXICO - A Mexico teenager faces 27 counts of child sexual abuse. Probable cause documents allege 17-year-old Chandler Douse... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:39:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA-The Columbia City Council is looking into a way to decrease oil and grease storage on city streets from local... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Columbia Public School's out-of-school suspension rates for black students is double the rate of out-of-school suspensions given to white... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 6:06:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
FULTON - Two Columbia residents were taken into custody at a traffic stop Monday charged with the possession and distribution... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 5:27:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is talking about building two roundabouts on Nifong Boulevard in an attempt to reduce... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A walkway outside of the Royal Inn off I-70 showed signs of structural damage Monday afternoon and guests... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - It's been five days since Hurricane Michael decimated Mexico Beach, and dozens of residents are still nowhere to... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on fundraising in the Missouri U.S. Senate race (all times local): 3... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:52:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson kicked off what he calls "Infrastructure Week" Monday morning at the Missouri Department of Conservation... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:26:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A federal judge says Missouri has violated the rights of people serving life in prison without parole for... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:35:48 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY- A man was arrested and accused of trying to run over his girlfriend and son with a truck... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:28:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a pair of armed robberies at convenience stores over the weekend. ... More >>
12 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County deputies found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop early Sunday morning, according to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 10:05:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
SLATER - Gloria is a 2-year-old pit bull who was found near Slater, Missouri after someone shot her in the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 8:26:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
11pm 37°
12am 36°
1am 35°
2am 34°