BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School’s summer programs are in full swing.
A girls robotics class left students feeling confident as scientists.
"A lot of people look at scientists as [men], and this one is focusing on girls and women doing robotics and helping around the world with trash and all that other things," said sixth grader Malakai Williams.
"My favorite part so far is the coding and working with teams while coming up with a project [of] different ways we can help the community," said eighth grader Brooklynn Garzon.
Dr. Brittney Beck is the director of the Citizen Science Project.
"We hope to democratize science by including more diverse voices in question posing, data collection, data analysis and ultimately data informed advocacy," said Beck.
This camp is one of the initiatives aiming to do that. The girls learned about coding, robotics and videography.
"They can see that all of those things go together and that they’re able to do anything that they put their mind to," said fifth grade teacher Domonique Cruz.
They assessed problems in the community and came up with solutions.
"The skills that they are learning are things that they can apply to the real world as innovators because they are the future of our community," said elementary school teacher Moriah Lee.
Vice Principal Tony Richardson said it’s inspiring to watch the girls think about the world around them.
"That’s why we have our motto of creating life-ready students, right? Just seeing the kind of impact it has to put students in control of their own learning. It’s incredible," he said.
If you’d like to learn more about the Citizen Scientist Project, click here.