Female robotics team to bring science-related projects to Cooper-Siegle library in Fox Chapel

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Fox Chapel Area senior Simran Parwani believes that lifelong learning stems from hands-on creativity.

And she believes it should start young.

Parwani and fellow members of the Girls of Steel robotics team will offer students of all ages a chance to drive a robot and participate in other science-related projects during a session at the Cooper Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel.

“We hope to inspire the children to want to learn more about the innovative fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM),” said Parwani, 17.

“At the very least, we hope that the students will have an entertaining evening.”

The session, “Let's Build It,” will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 6 in the library along Fox Chapel Road.

The Girls of Steel is an all-girls high school robotics team sponsored by the Field Robotics Center at Carnegie Mellon University. Aside from supporting a foundation in science and math curriculums, the team works to build girls' confidence, communication and leadership.

“We strive to close the gender gap in the STEM fields,” Parwani said.

During the event, children will drive the team's 2014 robot, Atlas, and meet students from a separate group called FC Fourth River Robotics. There will be hands-on science activities and information on how to join a junior robotics team.

Susan Herald, children's department head at the library, said the class supports the Fox Chapel Area School District's growing emphasis on STEM education.

It fits well with the library's summer reading program theme of “Fizz, Boom, Read,” which was designed to encourage an interest in building, problem-solving and creativity.

“The Robotics program dovetails perfectly with our mission to cultivate a community of lifelong learners,” Herald said.

She said the demand has been so overwhelming that another session is being planned for fall.

To register, call the children's department at the library at 412-828-9520, ext. 218 or visit www.coopersiegelcommunitylibrary.org.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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