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NanoRaiders Creations: Young ChangeMakers Improving Communities through STEM

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trishpatnaik
Entry ID #: 7582
Created: Sun, Jan 12, 2020 1:21 AM


The NanoRaiders (60440A) of Bolingbrook High School (BHS) consists of members Trisha, Tejas, Arianna, Mathew, Nayantara, Yatziry, Emily, Alberto, Eric, Aidan, Ms. Ross (Sponsor), and Mr. Patnaik (Coach). We are the young Changemakers who are very active in promoting STEM locally in schools, district, community, and in state as well as outside. Our volunteering and outreach have spanned many seasons, starting from elementary school science fairs, continuing through middle schools, and onto our high school. Our Robotic team started out initially as purely a Girl-powered team since we could not recruit boys, or the boys who we tried to recruit were not interested as well as other students. But then that changed slowly as more and more boys wanted to join. Hence, our team had to recruit or welcome them and, in a way, have had to disband Girls-powered team & the associated tag. That also meant we have had to lose some recognition/funding/comfort which otherwise would have come easily to us. Many places/organizations promote that kind of “Girls-powered” cultures as it will be lot easier for applying for funding/competitions/grants/winning awards/recognition etc. We thought that it is against STEM to discriminate while choosing STEM/Robotic club team members selectively. We realized earlier that we have had to step out of our comfort zone if we truly wanted to provide STEM leadership and outreach for recruiting new students and kind of put that new thinking/culture into our practice. We promoted robotics for kids in our community. Some members of our team are involved in their community activities internationally by collecting donations from people which are used to send kids to school in those poor countries.

Our team is expanding its changemaking skills slowly and applying on other communities, organizations, other states and nationally. Our team quickly realized that all of us cannot be at the same place and at the same time. Hence, in order to maximize team efforts, each of us worked separately to maximize group efforts in popularizing STEM programs or facilities. Some of us were recognized statewide or nationally for our persistent and sustained efforts toward STEM. With our persistence, we established a Robotic club, located donors, sponsor, and a coach to run the club. Few of us even helped put our schools and local community on the national radar for various STEM activities and competitions. We are partnering with other sister organizations (STEM Associations and Purdue University) in our local communities to advance STEM education and STEM activities. With such partnership, we are conducting various camps and volunteering opportunities in organizations to enhance and sustain community outreach and mentoring activities not just in our local/outside communities. Few of them got invited by Argonne National Labs, Fermi National Accelerator Labortory for doing research, and recognized by national organizations as “Women in STEM,” or as part of ” Superheroes in STEM” for promoting these activities in various communities. We have spent countless hours and performed numerous volunteering in STEM activities.

Currently, there is lot of interest that exists today at our school for more students to join. However, we cannot take more teams or team members due to lack of funds, availability of coaches, rooms, scheduling, and other logistics. We can create two additional VEX Teams at our school from next year. We will make sure that we adhere to our team motto of “WHOEVER YOU ARE, WHEREVER YOU GO, HONOR BOLINGBROOK, HONOR THE RAIDERS”.

We will leave you with our final thought. Young community Changemaker, “NanoRaiders” is building better communities through STEM and inspiring one student, one school/organization, one community, one robot at a time, and last but not least, one GOOGLE at a time!

The video submitted was created and managed by students who shot pictures/video using their regular phones and appropriate software and named under "NanoRaiders Creations" for public view. This creation is fully acknowledged here.

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BHS Robotic club (Nano Raiders) was established to increase awareness and exposure around “ALL THINGS STEM” in the community. The aim is to create a dialogue, partnership among fellow students for promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Programming activities and supplement knowledge gained in individual classes. The mission is to focus on student-centered learning that provides fun and challenging experiences while utilizing hands-on technologically enhanced ideas that inspires critical thinking, problem solving in a team collaborative environment. BHS Robotic club exposes students towards an innovative learning experience dedicated towards application of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and programming to compete with their counterparts elsewhere and also maximizes individual potential towards science and technology and encourage students to become well-equipped for college, future careers, and for life in a competitive global economy.