Packed into the low-ceilinged basement beneath , in Kingfield is a jumble of tools, computers and projects in various stages of completion. The place is buzzing with creativity, organizing classes on everything to open-source computer programing. This hands-on education in science and skills could spur the next generation of American entrepreneurs.
While the group had sponsored a team in 2010, many Lyndale girls felt a bit intimidated joining something they perceived as a "boys' team."
"Last year, it was all-boys. I was kind of turned off. Now, it feels way different," said fifth-grader and 2011 team member Maddy.
Third-grader Ellie chimed in, describing a scene where a group of boys were brainstorming a project idea.
"One guy was like 'Boing boing boing,' and another said 'Golf ball!' How do they know that?" Ellie said. "It's like a secret boy language or something."
"And they would argue all the time," added fifth-grader Yusra.
These are Arduino micro-controllers make it easy to build all kinds of strange things, according to The Economist: plants that send Twitter messages when they need watering, a harp made of lasers, an etch-a-sketch clock, a microphone that serves as a breathalyser or a vest that displays your speed when riding a bike.