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To the untrained eye, it may look like a toy made out of Legos, but for those like Devynn Rizo, it is a learning tool.
"You build robots out of Legos and I just thought it was really cool being able to do this kind of stuff," FIRST Lego League (FLL) member Devynn said.
Her father Joe introduced her to robotics last year, after first learning about the partnership between FLL and Girl Scouts two years ago.
While Devynn and her teammates are excited about robotics now, Joe said it was not always that way.
"They're sitting there, looking at me like I'm crazy when I'm telling them they need to design and program a robot," he said. "They all wanted to come and play with Legos."
After some time, Joe said the Waco-based team, known as 'The Robotic Rulers' started to show excitement.
"By the time we were done, we had four girls that had learned how to program and had asked for electronics," he said. "Not iPods, but things like mind storms, or little electronics kits."
He said his own daughter is a perfect example of how the science and technology learned through the program can change a young person's mind about their future career.
Before participating in the First Lego League, Joe said his daughter wanted to be a doctor or veterinarian, but after spending a year getting hands on experience with robots, the 14-year-old has decided to pursue biomedical engineering.
"It's hard, but it helps you with math and science classes, and it also gives you bragging rights with your friends, because they have no idea what you're talking about," Devynn said.
FIRST, which stands for 'For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology' was created by inventor Dean Kamen, to spark young people's interest in science and technology.
According to Joe, the FIRST Lego League is open to children between 9 and 14 years of age.
As part of the program, children do more than just learn how to build and program their robots. They are also required to make a presentation using what they have learned, to provide a solution to a real world challenge.
"It's actually amazing to watch the girls participate and to get excited about it, it's fun and it's worth every bit of time and effort we put into it," he said.
Robotics programs like FIRST Lego League were highlighted during a presentation on Thursday at Texas State Technical College.
The school took the first step in launching the Collaborative STEM Robotics Initiative, which brought representatives from area colleges, universities and school districts to talk about their use of robotics in educating their students.
Becky Musil is the co-director of the Heart of Texas BEST, which stands for 'Building Engineering Science and Technology'.
BEST promotes the use of robotics competitions held at a “hub,” or local competition site.
Musil said she organized the discussion for Texas State Technical College, because she knows the role robots can play in sparking the interest of students.
"They are not realizing they're learning about science, math and they're learning engineering skills in the process," she said.
Those skills can prove vital for this country's workforce in the future.
"We've got to make sure we are building this, so students don't just give up on education," she said.
Baylor University, McLennan Community College, Waco ISD were among those who were represented at the meeting. They shared with each other the role robotics play in educating their students.
Musil said the communication between the area schools is important in hopefully streamlining and helping each other out in the future.
"We've existed for many, many years in silos, and colleges weren't talking to K through 12, and K thorough 12 weren't talking to colleges," she said. "And I think that's part of what we're seeing now with college readiness. That's probably because we haven't communicated what exactly is college ready."
News 8's parent company, Time Warner Cable has launched its own initiative to get young people interested in science, technology, engineering and math.
For more information on program, visit ConnectAMillionMinds.com.