Project Bucephalus starts its Rocketing Girls into Robotics program

GIRLS ONLY: Lily Christian, Emma Shooks and team leader Jess Lynn taking part in the Rocketing Girls into Robotics program. Picture: Georgia Matts
GIRLS ONLY: Lily Christian, Emma Shooks and team leader Jess Lynn taking part in the Rocketing Girls into Robotics program. Picture: Georgia Matts

Project Bucephalus mentor Lyndell Clark has no hesitation in stating robotics in Wollongong is powering along.

But Mrs Clark wants to address an imbalance and get more girls involved and excited about STEM.

That’s why she herself is so excited about a girls-only robotics program Project Bucephalus, Wollongong’s FIRST robotics team, is now running.

“We need to get more girls involved. Hopefully this program gives them a taste and they get excited about it,” Mrs Clark said.

“They might realise hopefully that STEM isn’t just something for the boys. That it is something that girls can do too.”

GIRLS ONLY: Team leader Cara Sims with students Teagan Sallans and Temple Atkinson taking part in the Rocketing Girls into Robotics program. Picture: Georgia Matts

GIRLS ONLY: Team leader Cara Sims with students Teagan Sallans and Temple Atkinson taking part in the Rocketing Girls into Robotics program. Picture: Georgia Matts

Project Bucephalus has received a grant from the Department of Business and Industry in conjunction with the Corrimal Rotary Club,  to run the ‘Rocketing Girls into Robotics’ program over the next two years.

The first class ran on Friday, August 3 at West Wollongong Public School.

“The girls that I had on Friday were very excited to come along, which is really good,” Mrs Clark said.

“Basically we will have 24 girls each term coming and doing a program with us to get them excited about STEM.

“I have found that girls in the science, technology, engineering and maths fields are very under represented.

“It’s our aim to get the girls excited about STEM because there are many benefits to undertaking these subjects.

“It is only early days but we have a lot of interest at the moment and things are going really well.”

Program participants though can not take part in the new season of the FIRST LEGO League.

Themed “Into Orbit”,  the 2018/19 season will see teams celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landings with a focus on STEM in space.

Project Bucephalus warmed up for the competition by being part of an Alliance team which won the Duel Down Under tournament at Macquarie University in late July.

This Alliance team also included new boys on the blocks, the Illawarra Blue Flamingoes.