Unique camp teaches girls robotics, engineering

Posted at 8:15 AM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 12:04:29-04
SAN DIEGO -- While most kids spend their summer break playing outdoors, a group of sixth-graders are building robots.
It's part of Qualcomm's STEM camp, designed to expose young girls to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Rylee Ramos chose her favorite book, Charlotte's Web, as the theme for her robotic hat. She wants to be an engineer when she grows up.  
“We put in the code and numbers that we want it to say, how fast or slow, or the way we wanted it to rotate,” Rylee Ramos said.
Ramos is one of 30 local sixth graders learning how to use code, hardware and motors to create a robotic hat.
Qualcomm hosts the STEM camp several times a year. This one is especially meaningful to this group because they come from a variety of backgrounds. According to instructor Saura Naderi, for some the camp is their only chance to get hands on training and learn about careers.
“Any kind of challenges they faced that might have inhibited them from this experience we met head on and tried to provide solutions for them,” Naderi said.
Student Sami Schwalbe says she loves problem solving and wants to be a scientist one day.
“I enjoy making things with my hands,” Schwalbe said.
The girls say not to be fooled by the glue guns and crafts: Q-camp is preparing a new generation of leaders in industries dominated by men.
“I used to think that boys could only do certain things but when I saw this camp I was like, 'whoa, that sounds so cool,’” Ramos said.
I like proving people wrong so I just don't like men doing all the things,” Schwalbe said. “I like for women to have a chance.”