Robotics expo brings tech, community together

Several robotics groups gathered in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room at Western Washington University on Saturday, June 27, for the first local event of its kind: The Whatcom Robotics Expo.

The Whatcom Robotics Expo was sponsored by CodeLily, a computer science and web development education studio founded by Western students, and Western Washington University. This event gave participants the opportunity to learn real-world programming skills, gain experience contributing to a project and make connections in the industry.

This one-day workshop was organized by volunteers from local businesses and organizations such as the Spark Museum, Inner Child Studio and the Marine Tech Club, which came with a mission to connect Bellingham to the growing tech community.

One of the organizations that participated in this event by bringing a large collection of Lego to play with was Inner Child Studio, a non-profit organization in Bellingham that brings educational activities and toys to people living with emotional, cognitive, social or physical challenges.

Rachel Andrews, founder and play master of Inner Child Studio said she has collected Legos since she was about 7 years old.

“It is all about bringing the joy of play to people of all ages,” Andrews said. “Watching kids play with Legos is fun, but watching adults play with Legos is actually even more fun.”

Organizations, volunteers and participants gathered in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room Saturday, June 27, for the first-of-its-kind Whatcom Robotics Expo. Photo by Mariko Osterberg / WWU Communications and Marketing intern
Organizations, volunteers and participants gathered in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room Saturday, June 27, for the first-of-its-kind Whatcom Robotics Expo. Photo by Mariko Osterberg / WWU Communications and Marketing intern
Inner Child Studio founder Rachel Andrews built this Lego float at the Whatcom Robotics Expo Saturday, June 27, in honor of the previous day's U.S. Supreme Court Ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Photo by Mariko Osterberg / WWU Communi
Organizations, volunteers and participants gathered in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room Saturday, June 27, for the first-of-its-kind Whatcom Robotics Expo. Photo by Mariko Osterberg / WWU Communications and Marketing intern
Organizations, volunteers and participants gathered in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room Saturday, June 27, for the first-of-its-kind Whatcom Robotics Expo. Photo by Mariko Osterberg / WWU Communications and Marketing intern
Inner Child Studio founder Rachel Andrews, right, shows off her collection of Lego blocks for people to play with at the Whatcom Robotics Expo Saturday, June 27, in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room. Photo by Mariko Osterberg / WWU Communications and Mar