Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Girl Powered Essay


Entry ID #: 9124
Created: Tue, Dec 8, 2020 11:41 AM

This year was the first year I started VEX Robotics. It was a little tougher this year because of the pandemic. Everything had to be online since our district only had virtual learning. We did figure out a way to make the robots even though our team only met online. The online challenges were there to help motivate and challenge us. There weren’t that many girls on the team, so that’s why we were useful in the Girl Powered Essay Online Challenge. VEX robotics goes to show that girls aren’t just there to do the domestic house chores. We are there with ideas and capabilities to help the team, too. Teamwork is about having fun with your teammates, but not just all fun, work needs to be put into the team to help complete the challenge and hopefully win. My VEX teacher had said, “The only thing you get out of this class is what you put into it!” 

If there wasn’t such a thing as “Girl Power,” this essay wouldn’t be on your screen or in your hands. If there wasn’t such a thing as “Girl Power,” the achievements that past females have made wouldn’t be here. What Girl Power means to me is that girls have the same amount of skills and capabilities that men have and should be given the same opportunities. I never knew that Girl Power could be so powerful. It was only this year when I had three other female VEX members that I had figured it out. 

Each of our team members has done many things, such as building and programming. Since there weren’t that many people who wanted to program, I stepped up to the challenge and started to learn how to program this year. Programming was challenging at first with all the words tumbling in but after a while, I got used to it, and programming got easier. With help from others who had already been in my shoes, it was easier and fun. If I needed help, they’d be there to answer my questions. I didn’t go into VEX planning to learn how to code, but with the limited number of members who wanted to program and with the pandemic forcing us to work more independently at home, I’m glad that I did attempt to learn it.  It is fun and opens up a new world of possibilities for me.

For building, almost everyone, including all the girls, was a builder since we were able to obtain robots for each team member that wished to build. Since we had to do distance learning, it was tougher to figure out how we were going to build a robot. Our final idea was to send the robots to members of our team’s houses. We’d be able to build the robots at home and send pictures to show our progress on the robots in class and to prove that we had finished it. A lot of us needed to change our robot. Either the claw was too small or they didn’t build the robot properly. We each built our own robots and shared ideas on how to make the robot function better, what to add to make the robot stop tipping over, or thinking of an intake system. For CAD, some people got stuck because of issues with connection, size, and other problems. Even though some people didn’t have many ideas, they were still able to find out a way to solve their problems. Even though the pandemic created a unique learning environment this year, it also created a unique opportunity for girls like me to trust their own instincts and abilities since we had to work independently more often.  I was able to build the entire robot on my own, which was fun and empowering. When I had ideas for modification, I was free to try them without worrying about what others might think if it did not work out.  This helped build my confidence, I learned that even as a girl I can have good ideas and I should not be afraid to speak up and share them. Girl power means as a girl you do not have to rely on your male team members to answer every problem. It takes your own mind to solve the problem sometimes, with the ideas you make. You can also help others solve the same problems you faced.

I believe that diversity or the difference in our perspectives changed many parts of VEX, including our robot designs or even our way of learning in a year like this. The older VEXJets had some ideas that they could add to from some of the ideas that they had seen in previous years. Newer VEXJets had new ideas that no one had seen before. Since there isn’t one way of making a robot, the more excellent ideas we get, the better chance we have of winning. Working together was harder this year, we had to learn from the computer. We weren’t there to help each other in person. Our ability to succeed is riding on us more individually than normal. The pandemic is a big obstacle that we need to overcome and nothing will get in the way on our path to victory.

The most important goal that’s on everyone’s mind is to succeed. My team is trying to work together to solve problems but have fun within the problem-solving process. Winning the competition, solving the problems we faced, and getting through everything together while working virtually due to the pandemic.



Name: Addison Nicoll

Team Number: 4073A

Title: Girl Powered Essay

Links / Videos

There is nothing here.