“The University of Virginia School of Engineering’s 9th Annual Bio-Med Tech-Girls program is underway.
Thirteen young women from six area high schools are attending the event, which kicked off Monday, August 8, and runs through Friday.
Today, they worked with surgical robots and got hands-on experience learning how to manipulate and program a robotic arm.
“What we’re trying to do is bridge the gender gap in technology and computer science because there’s a big problem right now. So this program is all about introducing high school girls to all the possibilities available in computer science, in bio-medical engineering, and robotics, Founder Kim Wilkens said.” (Source)
Kim Wilkens chose the Hummingbird Robotics Kit to help the high school students bring their ideas to life and explore biomedical robotics possibilities. A Doctoral student at the University of Virginia in Computer Science Education, is a long-term supporter of BirdBrain Technologies and uses the Finch Robot and the Hummingbird Robotics Kit often in her work; including at the Computer Science Institute, UVA community DesignLab Tech Playdates, and more. She even had BirdBrain founder and CEO Tom Lauwers as a guest on her podcast, Bringing Computer Science Education Research into K-8 Classrooms!
We were lucky enough to speak with Ms. Wilkens about the BioMed Tech Girls program. “Running the annual Bio-Med Tech-Girls program is always one of the highlights of my year and it’s great to be back in person for our 9th year! The program is all about providing inspiration, community building and hands-on computer science (CS) and biomedical engineering (BME) activities for young women in high school, so they can get a glimpse of the vast opportunities available in these fields. Of course, the participants always inspire me too with their thoughtful questions, sharing what they are passionate about and coming up with ideas to solve real-world problems through the design challenge we set each year. The Hummingbird Bit is one of the CS tools we introduce to the participants because it is a great platform for prototyping BME solutions. For instance, in 2018 one group prototyped a pillow alarm with the kit to help someone with type 1 diabetes wake up if they needed to adjust their blood sugar levels. I can’t wait to see what they create this year!
This video and top blurb were originally shared by NBC29 news. See the post in its original format here.