By Krista Park, Communications & Marketing Director
As our 2013 It’s Awesome to Be a Girl Scout Week came to a close on Saturday, I experienced one of the many reasons it truly is awesome to be a Girl Scout. I had the opportunity to watch our Gadget Girls team compete in the 4th Annual NC FIRST Robotics Regional Tournament, the premier engineering challenge for high school students.
Every January, FIRST unveils the competition’s “game” and teams receive a kit of common parts that are used to build the core systems of the robot — but they won’t find an instruction manual! Building a robot to compete in a Frisbee Challenge was this year’s task for the FIRST Robotics Competition, a three day event held at Dorton Arena on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
In just six meetings, the Gadget Girls conceptualized, designed, built, and programmed their robot appropriately named “Juliette,” unlike many of high schools team which met numerous days a week during the six-week design period. Wow – I was really impressed with how awesome their efforts were in this short amount of time.
It was also awesome to witness was the positive response the Gadget Girls received from their peers. The Gadget Girls team was the only all-girl squad competing in the 56-team competition and placed 35th overall – not bad for a rookie team. Many of the girls at the competition participating on co-ed teams were really excited to see an all-girl team participating – how cool is that?!
Creating opportunities for girls to explore the world of STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – and exposing girls to female role models are essentials pieces of our leadership program at Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines. This year, two female engineers from IBM volunteered their time and support and helped the Gadget Girls team problem solve at the competition.
See how awesome the Gadget Girls team and their robot are via the competition’s webcast. Cue the video to 2:34:18 to hear the team introduced and then to 2:37:00 to watch their awesome defensive moves during their battle.