Girls robotics tourney a great success
Submitted by Nadine Fiedler on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 10:27am
Girls rock in robotics at CGS-sponsored competition
Robotics at the high school level engages both boys and girls with its spirit of inventiveness, collaboration, and exciting challenge. Thousands of girls around the world participate in FIRST robotics—but mostly in the marketing, spirit, and outreach areas of their robotics team. Many graduate from the program without having played a significant role in the engineering side of the team, and without having gained the knowledge and skills that come from doing so.
In response to this gender gap, Catlin Gabel’s “Flaming Chickens” robotics team hosted the first annual Girl’s Generation robotics competition at Catlin Gabel on Saturday, November 13. Organized by female senior Rohisha Adke and staffed by the male members of the team, they presented Girl’s Generation as a chance for female members of area robotics teams to take center stage. “We hoped to inspire girls to take advantage of the opportunities for growth that FIRST offers by giving them a slight advantage over their often dominating male counterparts, and a chance to witness the fun of engineering for themselves,” said Dale Yocum, Catlin Gabel’s robotics program director.
Fourteen Oregon and Washington teams attended the competition, making it the largest event of its kind. Only girls were allowed to be on the robot drive teams, and only girls could work on them in the pits. The teams worked extra hard, playing as many matches Saturday as they’d normally play for an entire regional tournament.
At the end, Catlin Gabel’s Flaming Chickens—seniors Rohisha Adke and Lynne Stracovsky, and sophomores Hannah Ashley, Marina Dimitrov, Anne Gilleland, and Eve Lowenstein—brought home the winner’s trophy. But all the girls who attended came away with the warmth of knowing who exactly their peers are: smart, confident girls ready to work together to take on the difficult challenges they face in robotics, and well prepared for the next big competition.
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