Summer robotics program has young ladies focused on honing STEM skills

By Bakari Savage - Reporter, anchor, David Benfield - Photojournalist

Science, technology, engineering and math classes, referred to as STEM courses, are becoming more important in schools, and one summer program is taking it to the next level by getting students as young as tweens involved.

It’s summertime, but instead of being outside and having fun in the sun, some young ladies are staying indoors and building robots. They’re using STEM skills to increase their girl power so that when they go back to school in the fall, they can earn better grades.

News4Jax spoke with students and teachers about Frank H. Peterson Academics of Technology’s robotics series at the Communities In Schools summer camp.

Randie White and Yasmine Medley, two students taking part in the camp, are getting the chance to be in the robotics program and increase their exposure to STEM.

Leon Baxter, from Communities In Schools, said there’s a reason for all of this.

“It’s exciting! It’s the wave of the future. We want to develop a workforce that can deal with manufacturing. There are so many manufacturing jobs out here today that deal with STEM,” Baxter said.

Although these rising sixth-graders aren’t aspiring to get those manufacturing jobs Baxton mentions, they understand they’re learning skills that can help them do anything they want.

“It helps us with math. So, we said we wanted to raise up our grades,” Yasmine said.

“I want to be a cosmetologist, a cosmetic coach and I want to be a rapper,” Randie said.

To keep that momentum going, the goal is for the young ladies to join a team so that they can be part of a qualifying competition. The first qualifier will be in November or December at the Frank H. Peterson School High School.

“It’s a lot of men doing robotics, so I wanted to do robotics to prove that girls can do everything boys can do,” Randie said.

Click here to learn more about the summer STEM program.

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