Boys Build IT! (BBIT!)

Register here! BBIT 2020 Virtual Camp

Hillsboro School District Student Achievement Spotlight: 

"Boys Build IT: Continuing the Loberger Legacy HSD saw the return of a very popular camp for girls called “Girls Get IT” the week after school got out this past summer. The “IT” stands for Innovative Technology and the camp itself was conceived and run by Hilhi sophomore Savannah Loberger back in 2011. This year’s camp was run by Savannah’s youngest sister Rachel, a junior at Liberty High School, who infused some of her own ideas and started a new tradition of her own: “Boys Build IT,” which took place the following week.

The basic concept for both camps is the same: expose students who are entering grades 5 through 7 to a variety of fun, engaging, hands-on STEM activities to give them familiarity with the disciplines, and also to raise their interest and confidence so they might consider pursuing those fields of study in the future.

All of the instructors at the camps were female, something that has been of value since the beginning. Being one of the only girls in her programming class, as her sister was back in 2011, Rachel felt it was important for young people to learn traditionally male skills from older female role models. So she recruited some teammates from Liberty's robotics team to assist her.  

During the camps, students learned things like coding, computer assisted design (CAD), 3-D printing, programming, soldering, and even how to make a microwave cake with a power drill! One of Rachel’s additions to the camp was a lesson on environmental sustainability where campers made step stools out of recycled wood and plastics. Perhaps Rachel’s favorite lesson, though—also one that she created—was the one on cybersecurity. Students hacked each other, got hacked, and learned more about not only the importance of engineering in security measures to electronic systems, but also recovery if a breach occurs. 

“Our son absolutely LOVED coming to camp,” wrote one parent. “He had so much fun and couldn’t wait to tell us every day what he’d done there. That’s a huge improvement over his reaction to other camps... Thank you so much for putting on such a phenomenal, engaging camp experience.”

Helping Rachel in her efforts to bring both camps to fruition at Liberty High School, its new location, was technology teacher Steffan Ledgerwood. He provided his classroom for preparation, practice, and then the program itself. He even had his eighth grade daughter Leah serve as an intern so she can hopefully serve as an instructor in future years. 

Aside from the desire to get more young students excited about STEM fields, creating and holding these camps also earned Rachel and Savannah their Girl Scout Gold Awards. But just because she earned the award doesn’t mean Rachel is ready to stop. 

“I plan to hold these camps again next year, and I hope to pull in a few more coaches—more girls who are passionate and have a desire to carry on the program,” Rachel explains.

Rachel has been involved with CAD modeling and mechanics since first grade when she joined her first LEGO robotics team. She has continued with robotics all through her schooling, moving from the small robots on a FIRST LEGO League team; to the medium-sized robots on a FIRST Technology Challenge team; and finally to the large robots on a FIRST Robotics Competition team. At Liberty High School, she is a member of Team #6443 AEMBOT. It is a co-ed team, but just before this paper was published, she and the other female team members participated in the Girls’ GEN competition. Girls’ GEN is a one-day competition where the girls take over all of the key roles of programming and running last year’s competition robot, and the boys simply support them. Rachel’s team was part of the winning alliance and also won the Quality Award.  

Congratulations on the competition win and many thanks to you, your fellow coaches, Mr. Ledgerwood, Sheryl Loberger, and everyone who made this year’s Girls Get IT and Boys Build IT camps a great success!"


BBIT Flyer 2019 Camp:



Camp Instructors 

(Back row, from left): Grace Shirota, Rachel Loberger, Jessica Clift; (Front row, from left): Leah Ledgerwood, Alannah Maher.