Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

“Girl Powered” and “Diversity” Transformed Our Team


Entry ID #: 7022
Created: Mon, Jan 6, 2020 8:09 AM

 “Girl Powered” and “Diversity” Transformed Our Team              Throughout many years of robotics together, which have included many role models and friendships, our team, 11857G,  continues to represent the idea of “Girl Powered” along with “Diversity”  in all that we do. For our team last year, “Girl Powered” meant that the girls on my teamed represented a strong, equal force in engineering and robotics compared to the boys. It also meant that when girls in robotics come together as one, we are a powerful force. Last year, our team qualified for the finals at state as an all-girls robotics team. Our nickname was “the Fearsome Foursome.”  Each year our  robotics  team changes and grows, usually by adding a  new member. Now we are called  the “Fearsome Fivesome.”  Our foursome of girls has now been joined by none other than Ethan Nimri. Ethan was an amazing driver on the boy’s team last year. With this new addition, we have created a very diverse group of students. We have many veterans on our team, including Cici, Ethan, and me, who have been involved in robotics since fourth grade. Kaitlin and Bridget joined our team last year. Each of us has a distinct personality. Ethan is the jokester on our team who can lighten the mood no matter what. Both Ethan and Cici are our main drivers, along with Bridget. Cici is serious, focused, and determined, unlike Bridget, who is very goofy and fun to be around. Bridget spends most practices making our beautiful engineering notebook. Kaitlin is focused and is one of our main coders. I am a coder and am focused, determined, and the “mom” on the team. Whenever, we get off-topic, I will usually tell everyone to get back to work, earning me the nickname “Mom.”  Each of us takes on different roles on the team, making us appreciate each other’s hard work. We are all builders of our robot, which seems to be a continuous process. While Kaitlin and I are the main coders for our robot, Cici, Ethan, and Bridget are going to try to learn how to code also. Everyone except me is a driver, but I am going to try to learn how to drive this year. Through these experiences, our team has developed closeness and an understanding of each other. This is due to our many hours shared slaving over our robot at school but also due to the work that was done during a sleepover last year.  We went over to our coaches’ house, where we ate, coded, drove, and binge-watched television shows. This year, it is a funny topic due to Ethan joining our team. We joke this year that we need to have another sleepover, but Ethan always says he’s never going to one of those.  I believe diversity has caused us to change our perspective on all our robotic tasks. When we design our robot, our diversity helps us create so many potential ideas. This diversity also helps us see the various positives and negatives of each design. In the end, our robot needs to be a robot that is easy to code, high point-scoring, and easy for the drivers to navigate. Our diversity also leads to the creation of a unique robot because we want something that is functional but also looks neat and precise. Diversity also affects our team chemistry because it makes us stronger. Each of us brings something useful to the table. The experienced veterans bring ideas and words of wisdom from past experiences, and the girls bring an eye for fashion. We want everything associated with our name to be  professional, as well as to look neat and colorful, like our personalities. Our team chemistry is great because we have strong inside jokes, like “rainbow.” The rainbow joke comes from our engineering notebook because we love to go crazy with colors when we write in it, which annoys our coach. Finally, diversity definitely positively impacts our ability to succeed because each person brings something unique to the table. Our success is based on how well we work together and how we act and react under pressure. Our team chemistry is amazing. We are very close, and we don’t blame one another for mistakes. We just focus on how we can fix them. Also, our team can work under pressure. We veterans know how to act under pressure and how to keep a level head. If we do start freaking out, we just breathe, or Ethan will tell a joke and we will all laugh it off.  Also, our team is blessed with many diverse role models.  They show us how strong we can be together as one, moving from an all-girls team to a more diverse team. One of our role models is Molly Cain. She is the director of venture technology relationships at the Department of Homeland Security. She has been following us on our journey as a robotics team. We have had video chats with her where she has inspired us to create a more inclusive environment. We respect her ideas because she is able to see the future of robotics.  She says by having such a diverse team, it will benefit us in the future.  When we become engineers and join the workforce, we will see that every engineer is unique with his or her own ideas that we must respect. Like Molly Cain, Mrs. Scott, our S.T.E.M. teacher, also shows us what it is like to be “Girl Powered.” Mrs. Scott has been with us since the beginning.  She was the teacher who introduced robotics to our school, as well as to us. She has been with us through thick and thin. She is our sister team’s coach, and she inspires both teams.  Last year, she pushed us to be a strong girls team in robotics.  This year, she encouraged us to welcome Ethan, causing us to become a more diverse team.  Besides having female role models, our main coach for the last two years has been Mr. Nagel.  Surprisingly, our all girls “Girl Powered” team last year was coached by a male. Mr. Nagel pushes us to be the best we can every week.  He pushes us to do our best while encouraging us to problem-solve and respect each other’s ideas.  Through the difficult and frustrating times, he pushes us to persevere.  Our team couldn’t do any of this without all their support. We are blessed to have so many diverse role models pushing us on to be successful. We have changed from a strong all girls “Girl Powered” team to a more diverse team this year. We can’t wait to show the robotics world how great a team we have become.    Aubrey Griffin Our Lady of Grace 11857G      


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