Watson Chronicle


Programs for P-12 Students

Engineering Expectations Hosts GLOW Academy Robotics Learning Circle

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington, a sixth- through twelfth-grade single-gender school modeled after the Young Women’s Leadership Schools, opened in August 2016 with 100 sixth-grade girls.

On March 18, Youth Programs’ Engineering Expectations program was host to a Robotics Learning Circle for 29 fifth graders who will enter the GLOW Academy in fall 2017. During the event, students were introduced to Lego Mindstorms, computer programming, smart cars and sensors.

GLOW offers a Summer Leadership Academy and six Learning Circles to fifth-grade girls each year to reinforce the academy’s STEAM academic curriculum, build relationships and make sure the girls feel comfortable before entering middle school at GLOW. The events are offered in partnership with UNCW, Cape Fear Museum and Cape Fear Academy.

Kathy Ibbotson and Jasmine Gaston coordinated the March robotics event. Ibbotson is UNCW’s K-12 engineering coordinator and Gaston is K-12 engineering associate.

“Closing the gap for females in engineering and computer programming is one of my personal passions and one of the main reasons that I left the engineering industry to pursue STEM education,” Ibbotson said. “Our goal for the GLOW robotics learning circle was to actively engage students in the engineering design process and teach programming skills while giving them the opportunity to work together to solve problems. Hopefully participation in activities like this will help students gain confidence in their STEM knowledge and abilities and encourage them to pursue STEM in the future.”

Information on UNCW’s Engineering Expectations program can be found here.

Media Coverage of the Event

The GLOW Robotics Learning Circle at UNCW was featured on WWAY on March 18.