Frozen, she stared at her RobotC program on the screen.
Her lifeless partner, the robot, yearning for an algorithm, stood in front of her.
USB cable unplugged. No connection between them.
While looking at the two of them, suddenly, it occurred to me--she might be afraid that her program won't work. I thought of Reshma Saujani and her TED Talk: Teach Girls Bravery, Not Perfection. I had watched her stare at the screen for days, trying to encourage her, but it wasn't until a colleague sent me Saujani's Ted Talk that I realized what might be happening here. Girls are often refrain trying things and takings risks due to fear of not getting it perfect.
I sat down next to them.
"Have you tested your program?" I asked.
"No," she nodded.
"Well, let's do it and see what happens. Then we'll have some information about how it works."
A sheepish and concerned "Okay," was barely audible.
She plugged in her USB cord. The familiar download sound occurred.
The robot came to life, engaging in unpredicted antics, as the arm pushed down forcefully lifting the front part of the robot off the counter and turned wildly to the left and back etc... Not, what she wanted to happen. (I could have predicted this.) Excitedly, I started asking her questions.
She smiled and we began debugging together.
As often happens, class was over just when it started to get interesting. (A topic for another post.)