Mission to Mars Autumn Academy

Fourteen Guides and Senior Branchers took part in a Mission to Mars Lego Robotics Autumn Academy in Cork during the mid-term break.

It was hoped that, by taking part in the Academy run by the Dublin City University Lego Education Innovation Studio, the girls would be enthused to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in school and, perhaps, consider careers in STEM.

Following the course, Eve Cunningham of Schull Senior Branch said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the camp and I would highly recommend it to other Guides. I would love to pursue a job in STEM.”

The girls, who were aged 13 to 19, gained a range of skills in computational thinking, engineering and programming during the course, which was engaging and hands-on.

The girls are grateful that they are getting to experience the practical side of STEM through Guiding.

Erin Scott of Kenmare Guides said: “I liked the course, I thought it was very interesting and I have learnt many new things, such as coding and building, and now I understand what STEM is.”

Siun O’Reilly of Arbutus Guides said it was one of the most enjoyable weeks of her life. “I have made some amazing new friends and I definitely think I might want to pursue a job in STEM,” she said.

Sophie Moore of Edenderry Guides said: “At our Lego Robotics camp we overcame programme errors, expanded our knowledge of coding and made new friends. It was a blast!”

During the course, the girls skyped with Irish space enthusiast Dr Niamh Shaw who was in the European Space Centre.

IGG Chief Commissioner Helen Concannon said: “Irish Girl Guides are always trying to challenge stereotypes and, by partnering with Dublin City University, we can give our girls opportunities to build robots, programme rovers to explore Mars and develop problem-solving skills. All this is useful for everyday life as well as giving the girls a taste of careers in engineering, science and technology. Seeing these girls embrace the challenges presented to them is inspiring. The future is safe in the hands of our youth representatives doing this course.”

You can see lots of photos here.