Girl Scouts learn about math, science through robotics

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – One new Girl Scout group showed off its smarts and cool equipment at the Girls Scout’s third annual Green Festival on Saturday.
The BentonBots Girl Scout robotics team out of Benton County demonstrated its robot from the 2012 First Lego League Senior Solutions challenge.
The team of Girl Scouts went to three different competitions, taking home a trophy from each.
Dawn Lyles, coach of the robotics team, said the girls were trying to interest other area Girl Scouts in the program that concentrates on science, technology, engineering and math.
Katelyn McCallum, 12, registered as a Girl Scout so she could participate with the robotics team.
“I’m looking to be an engineer when I grow up and I thought this might help since I’m interested in math and science,” McCallum said.
The team built a robot that could perform tasks that might assist senior adults as a part of the Senior Solutions theme.
The BentonBots took home the spirit trophy in the first competition, a community event in Starkville.
“Nothing worked in the first event but the girls were cheering everyone on and staying positive even though our robot was ripping everything off the field, so they got the spirit award,” Lyles said.
They went on to win a judge’s trophy at the Mississippi Championship in Hattiesburg.
“Most teams have a small robot and change it during the competition but we put everything we could on our robot and the judges were impressed,” Lyles said.
They took home a trophy for strategy and innovation in the West Tennessee Championship.
“We were proud to have three competitions and three trophies,” she said.
The other team member demonstrating the robot at Green Festival was Sarah Cole.
“I really like math and science and trying new things,” the 13-year-old said.
The team is now preparing for the 2013 competitions with the theme “Nature’s Fury.”
jb.clark@journalinc.com