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Marlbots connect the 9 Dots

Marlborough’s Robotics’ Community Outreach leader, Amanda ’18, and Community Outreach Program Head Pamela Wright have created a robotics community outreach program with the 9 Dots organization that teaches underprivileged children how to invent and build robots in their Community Learning Center in Los Angeles.

The robotics team wants to create a long-term community outreach program with 9 Dots because the nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing STEM opportunities to under-served children.

Amanda explained that the team wants to give the 9 Dots students an opportunity to explore the world of STEM that they might not otherwise have.

“We’re teaching them the robot design process and how to go about critically thinking about building,”  she said.

Not only does this partnership provide the robotics team with the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for robotics, but it also benefits their scores for their competitions. The Information and Recognition in Science and Technology, the committee that is in charge of all the robotics competitions, strongly encourages teams to become well-rounded by engaging in some kind of community outreach outside the competition field. Teams receive points for both their robot’s performance and community service work.

Courtesy of Marlbots robotics team
Courtesy of Marlbots robotics team

The team picked 9 Dots because it is an organization that helps young, underprivileged children in Los Angeles pursue STEM and build self-confidence as an intellectual. The company uses the 9 Dots Comprehensive Approach, which focuses on the student as a whole by inspiring the students to be curious innovators that will continue pursue STEM . The robotics team meets with 9 Dots students after school to teach three classes at 9 Dot’s community center. 

The robotics team is teaching class curricula that were recommended by the 9 Dots students. In one class, robotics team members teach the students how to make robots that will sumo wrestle each other. Another course teaches students how to build robots to navigate through a maze.

Kyra ’19, a member of the robotics team and participant in the 9 Dots partnership, said she hopes this shared opportunity will the children’s interest in STEM.

“It’s such a fun experience, and it involves a variety of skill sets like creativity, problem-solving, engineering, and teamwork,” Kyra said. “Our hope is to inspire the girls to be excited about STEM.”