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

Girl Powered Essay


Entry ID #: 5347
Created: Wed, Jan 10, 2018 9:20 AM

Girl Powered Essay Team 94065J - The Black Jaguars By Riya Kadakia, Karina Tam, Sanjna Sood, and Joshua Zhang The phrase girl-powered seems like only two words but can mean a lot. Our team, Team 94065J Black Jaguars, has four team members three girls, Riya, Sanjna, and Karina and one boy, Joshua. We have all tried various roles and have come to a decision on which one is right for each of us. We started by designing our robot which we all did. We first researched and compiled what we found before deciding what mechanisms we wanted our robot to have. During this process, we learned how to prioritize what we wanted our robot to have immediately and what we could wait to build. Once we knew what we wanted, we started building. We broke up into two teams of two and started building different mechanisms so that we could divide and conquer. One team worked on the forklift while the other built the drive base. By dividing the team we gave each person more opportunity to build and learn. Not everyone on our team knows programming so Karina and Joshua’s focus was on programming. They split up the work so that they could get more done while collaborating together to perfect the programs. Since Sanjna and I do not work on programming we chose other jobs that can help the team to continue to move forward. Sanjna decided to document everything into the engineering notebook while I decided to help by fine-tuning the robot as our primary focus. But, we would still help each other. Though this process we learned many things that include building and programming. We make sure that everyone is heard and include everyone's ideas into our design. Like when we were designing the robot. First, we studied the challenge and together decided what we wanted our robot to be able to do. Next, we all individually researched about what mechanisms we wanted on our robot. Once we all decided, we met together, listened as each person shared what they had found, compiled what we had found, and together decided what mechanisms we wanted our robot to have. We even prototyped the ones we thought might have potential in VEX IQ pieces before we gave up on the idea. We did this to make sure that everyone is heard and we did not ignore anyone’s idea even if it did not seem that it would work. We believe that these things that we do should attract a diverse set of students. When I hear I think about how girls can make difference in the places big as the world and as small as the team. I think about how girls voices should be heard. This is reflected in our approach since we make sure that the girls on our team can make a difference since we listen to everyone’s ideas. I think that having girls and a boy on our team makes a difference since sometimes girls think of only one way of getting past an obstacle while boys think in the other way. So having both girls and boys can help the team think of more ways to get past the obstacles. For example, I think having a girl be the strategist worked out better for our team since the girls on our team were calmer which helped the drive team stay calm and get a better score.

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Even though we are only middle schoolers and still short, that does not stop us from joining high/middle school competitions! Our height does not stop us from strategizing with our high school alliance. We know it will be harder to win and to get to the finals. But, we still enjoy the tournaments because the high school robots are more advanced and we get to learn from them.