End of Year Celebration 2024

lt to rt, front row: Maddie, Yazmin, Virginia, Alanah
back row: Rylee, Liv, Hazel. Not shown Sophia

Zontians prepared a special "party" for the girls to celebrate another year of girls robotics on May 14. The girls are always anxious to start the sessions, and this was no exception. They jumped right in to help set up, put dessert on trays, pour lemonade and set the table.

During the party each girl was asked what was easy and what was hard for them during the year. Most of girls said building their robot was the hardest. Lots of very small parts to pick from and so many looked the same, even though they were not. The instructions are just a picture drawing of where the part should go. Sometimes it is hard to decide. But they all got them built.

Programming was both hard and easy, depending on who was asked. Most of them liked programming once they understood it.

Then we asked what they wanted to do when they are out of college.  There was everything from a singer to President of the United States and she had her Vice President sitting next to her! Also was a chemist, graphic designer for Pixar, astrophysicist, paleontologist and the normal "I don't know". Dr. Colleen Marrese-Reading, who works for JPL, gave the girls stickers and other things from NASA and explained what she is working on.

The girls serenaded us with piano playing and singing. All had a good time. The party ended with all the girls receiving a gift card as a Thank You from Zonta.

Meet Yazmin

Yazmin, age 8

Yasmin is new to robotics for the 2023-2024 session. She joined only in Nov and has already completed her robot build and learned to program lesson one.

Building a robot is not easy. It contains about 100 pieces and many pieces look similar.

Her first lesson was to make a rectangle and return to where she started. Sounds easy? You can see her program on the Chromebook next to her. The lesson requires the girls to learn how many degrees are in a turn and how to back up, beside going straight.

Much to our surprise, Yazmin also discovered how to make sounds and a happy face on her robot. The picture shows both "happy" faces. When asked how she found the sounds and happy face, her comment as "its called programming!" Everyone applauded her enthusiasm.

Now on to lesson 2, which is a lot more difficult. She is going to team with Maddie on the next and future lessons.


Robotics Holiday Party 2023

On Dec 12, Zonta held our annual Holiday Party for the girls in robotics. The girls were thrilled that it was only for them. The afternoon started with the girls each selecting a holiday headband.  It was a hard choice for some of them to decide on which one.  Then the party continued with cookies and brownies, lots of them. There was singing, playing and all around fun. A song about Ohio was the most popular and why Ohio we had no idea. During the party each person shared what they knew about their name.  One was her grandmothers name, one was because she was born on St. Patricks day, another saying hers meant rising, but most did not know. Zontians also shared what they knew about their names.  It was a lot of fun and maybe gave them something to ask their parents.

The girls were each given a gift bag from Zonta with a Target gift card inside.  All the girls were thrilled and one saying that now she can buy her family something for Christmas. That made our day.

Robotics Family Nite 2023

Lt to Rt: Amelia, Nora, Rylee, Isabella, Virginia, Nicole, Abby

On May 9, 2023 a group of budding computer scientists gathered to celebrate the end of a nine-months long venture into the world of Lego robot building and computer programming. The girls ranging in age from 7-11, demonstrated their skills for a group of 40 including parents, siblings and Zonta members.

The girls were in teams as some liked to build and others program.  Each team showed off their robot and programming. Shrieks of joy and applause trailed the robots as they scurried along elaborate maps on the floor, cut figure eights, and prodded barriers with their sensors. Parents were very surprised to learn that the girls did the builds and programming all by themselves. Looking thrilled, the Zonta sponsors took pride in showing the girls that computers were good for something besides games. Many parents commented that their daughters talked about their robots all the time. Shows Zonta is making a difference in their lives.

The evening was capped off by loads of pizza and cookies, hand-picked by the young participants. They also received gift cards from Zonta as well a NASA stickers from Zontian Dr. Colleen Marrese-Reading, who works as a rock engineer for JPL. As the youngsters drifted from the room, pledges could be heard, “I’ll be back next fall!”

Zonta and the Boys and Girls Club can’t hardly wait.

More phots and videos here

Robotics Holiday Party 2022

The Zonta Club of SCV held a Holiday Party for the Robotics girls on Dec 13.  The girls were very excited and could not wait until the end of session to party.   Each girl was given a holiday sock (one they can wear) with a Starbucks gift card inside.  The excitement was overwhelming as each girl could grab any sock they wanted. Zonta provided cookies, brownies and cupcakes that all disappeared.  Before leaving the girls gave each Zontian a handmade holiday card saying "THANKS".

This ended the sessions for 2022 but the program begins again on Jan 17, 2023.  The girls will start where they left off, if they remember.

Girls' Robotics returns to Newhall Boys & Girls Club

The Zonta Club of SCV welcomed back Girls Robotics at the B&G Club in Newhall after a 21/2 year break due to the pandemic.

Abby Alverdiz, branch manager of the Newhall site,  recruited 6 girls for the program including one returning "robotic pro" from 2020 when we had to shut down.  She will be able to assist us with the new girls. Since the first session we have added 3 three more giving us 9 girls in the program, ranging in age from 8-11. Zonta members provide assistance, but the girls building and program their own robots.

As always, the girls are so excited about the program, they meet us at the front door with hugs.

Beginning with session two, the girls started building their Lego robots. They work at their own pace, with Zonta members there to assist.  In just 4 weeks all the girls have finished building their robots and now are programming. Lego has changed the programming and we are all learning something new.  Lots of fun

If you are interested is helping with this program, please contact us at robotics@scvzonta.org

Rylee, age 10, is pictured here with her robot.  She was the first one to complete her build after just two sessions. With time left, she went to help others. Rylee received an achievement award for her progress.

Next she will learn to program her robot to move forward, back, turn and spin around. There are 7 lessons for them to complete, each one more challenging


Girls' Robotics

The Zonta Club has joined forces with the Boys and Girls Club and offers a Robotics Program for girls, ages 9 – 14. This program is designed to foster interest and skills in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. Participants learn to design, program and control fully-functional Lego Mindstorm Robots.

The girls use software to plan, test and modify sequences of instructions for a variety of life-like robotic behaviors. They learn to collect and analyze data from sensors, using data logging functionalities embedded in the software. Individual lesson plans cover the basics to more advanced so that girls can join the program during the school year and advance at their own pace.

Girls' Robotics visit Zonta meeting


Seven of the girls participating in the Robotics program from the Boys & Girls Club, attended the Zonta meeting on April 10.  Each girl introduced themself and talked about robotics and their robot.  Then they took the mic away from Robotics chair, Darleen Lyons, and lead the rest of the presentation.  These girls are not shy, except fo one.  They demonstrated different lessons programmed during the year.  First up, Jaelyn, showed us a road map where she had to make many different types of turns, spins, a stop sign or two and sounds.  Next up was a demo on the color sensor.  Mia programmed her robot to stay inside the black line by using reflective light.  Then she showed the Zonta members how her robot will follow a black line.  Next was Shelbie and Ryder to demonstrate how to program.  This turned into all the girls getting together to tell each other how to do it.  The end result was a robot that went forward, turned around, backed up and turned again.  All of the girls had a great time.  At the end of the program, the shy girl, Genesis, took the mic to say that she used to be shy, but not any more.  Broke all of our hearts.  With a final thank you to all the Zontians for their support, back to the Boys & Girls Club.

Robotic Girls participate in Pinewood Derby



Pinewood Derby is always a favorite at the Boys & Girls Club in Newhall.  Recently 13 girls and boys designed,  painted and raced their cars.  The picture shows the designs.

We had several of our robotics girls build their cars.  There were two age groups and four of the six winners were girls.  The two shown here were first place winners in their age group.  Way to go!

Girls' Robotics Receives Grant

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley was recently awarded a grant from Boston Scientific Foundation for the Girls' Robotics Program.  We are very excited and humbled with this grant award.  With the award we will be able to replace several of the robot bricks (brains), new batteries and assorted new sensors and motors.  These pieces are over 10 years old and are having difficulties working with the new Lego Mindstorm software.  With these additional new bricks we will be able to expand the program to more girls.

Thank you to Boston Scientific for this grant and believing in this program.