Elementary school girls in Plantation prepare for engineering state competition

Students build robots, learn how to code at Mirror Lake Elementary School

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

PLANTATION, Fla. - At Mirror Lake Elementary School in Plantation, students in second through fifth grade are building robots, writing code and laying the building blocks for brilliant careers in engineering, and they are very excited about it.

"Engineering is fun because you can get all messy with the oil, you can build robots or you can even build a ninja robot," second-grader Gabriella Sanchez said. 

An initiative called Girl Powered is sending shockwaves through the young minds by introducing them to trailblazers like Regina Jackson, who is the first black female civil engineer in Florida.

"I am very passionate about what I do. I like doing what I do," Jackson said. "I like driving by projects I have completed and I know what I do makes a better life for people around me."

The students also got to meet software engineer and Colombian native Mariana Sabogal.

"Being able to share our stories like we did today -- it is very positive and inspiring," Sabogal said. 

The school already had one robotics team, then applied for a grant and held a fundraiser to get another.

The teams are training, using tools like ozbot and a dash and dot robot. It's challenging, fun and they can't get enough of it.

"I thinking engineering is really cool and it inspires a lot of people," fourth-grader Amanda Johnson said. "And I think that would be cool to inspire a lot of people."

The girls are hard at work preparing for the state competition, which they are hoping to host at the school on Jan. 13.

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