Girls Connect LEGO Robotics Workshop

April 14, 2015

March 28, 2015, thirty-six girls, all from Holyoke, participated in Girls Connect LEGO Robotics Workshop at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. Girls Connect is an intense one-day all-girl introduction to FIRST LEGO League. Organized by the Commonwealth Alliance for Information Technology Education (CAITE), the day-long workshop was co-sponsored by Girls Inc. of Holyoke, LEGO Education, FIRST LEGO League and the MGHPCC.

Working in teams of five, the girls first built motorized autonomous robots. They then programmed the robots to perform certain tasks to solve a set of food safety missions. The FOOD FACTOR® Challenge was inspired by National Food Safety Education Month. Each team took a break from programming to discuss their approach with the judges. At the end of the day, the teams demonstrated what their robots could do in a friendly competition. In addition to the High Score award, the teams won awards in a number of categories, such as Troubleshooting, Creativity and Design. The awards are named for famous women computer scientists, including Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace and Radia Joy Perlman. The emphasis on teamwork and the opportunity to meet with the judges complement the day-long experience of hands-on robotics and programming.
The teams were chaperoned by teachers and mentors from Holyoke’s McMahon, Sullivan and E.N. White schools, Girls Inc. of Holyoke, and Connections After School Program.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, (CAITE) is based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and works to address underrepresentation in information technology (IT) education and the workforce. The project is active throughout the state of Massachusetts as part of the Expanding Computer Education Pathways (ECEP) Alliance. For more information on ECEP and its work across the United States, see

Research projects

Dusty With a Chance of Star Formation
Checking the Medicine Cabinet to Interrupt COVID-19 at the Molecular Level
Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold But Still, Is It Just Right?​
Smashing Discoveries​
Microbiome Pattern Hunting
Modeling the Air we Breathe
Exploring Phytoplankton Diversity
The Computer Will See You Now
Computing the Toll of Trapped Diamondback Terrapins
Edging Towards a Greener Future
Physics-driven Drug Discovery
Modeling Plasma-Surface Interactions
Sensing Subduction Zones
Neural Networks & Earthquakes
Small Stars, Smaller Planets, Big Computing
Data Visualization using Climate Reanalyzer
Getting to Grips with Glassy Materials
Modeling Molecular Engines
Forest Mapping: When the Budworms come to Dinner
Exploring Thermoelectric Behavior at the Nanoscale
The Trickiness of Talking to Computers
A Genomic Take on Geobiology
From Grass to Gas
Teaching Computers to Identify Odors
From Games to Brains
The Trouble with Turbulence
A New Twist
A Little Bit of This… A Little Bit of That..
Looking Like an Alien!
Locking Up Computing
Modeling Supernovae
Sound Solution
Lessons in a Virtual Test Tube​
Crack Computing
Automated Real-time Medical Imaging Analysis
Towards a Smarter Greener Grid
Heading Off Head Blight
Organic Light-Harvesting Antennae
Art and AI
Excited by Photons
Tapping into an Ocean of Data
Computing Global Change
Star Power
Engineering the Human Microbiome
Computing Social Capital
Computers Diagnosing Disease
All Research Projects

Collaborative projects

ALL Collaborative PROJECTS

Outreach & Education Projects

See ALL Scholarships
100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA 01040