The vision and mission of FIRST Robotics are to help create a world where science and technology are celebrated, and young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders. Today’s world is in desperate need of scientists and engineers, and FIRST is trying to help. FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – strives to inspire young people to take on these roles.
In the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) – often called “The Varsity Sport for the Mind” or “The Superbowl of Smarts” – you don’t always see all-male teams out on the playing field while the girls cheer from the sidelines. No, by the field you’ll also find boys waving pom-poms and just as behind the driver station glass you’ll find girls with their hair pulled back, hands on the joysticks, safety goggles donned. If you look in the pits of a competition venue, girls are working frantically around their robots, sleeves rolled up and covered in grease. You’ll find girls and their mentors hooking up electronics, tightening chains, switching out wheels, plugging in pneumatics, testing software. FIRST ladies are everywhere, and they know what they’re doing. No boys allowed (except in an emergency.)
To emphasize and expand the engineering opportunities FIRST offers for young women around the world, FRC Team 1540 hosts Girls’ Generation; started in the fall of 2010, and in 2012 expanded to Seattle hosted by FRC Team 2046, Bear Metal. Local girls gain the engineering spotlight by taking over all technical roles on their teams for an exciting day of scrimmaging. Last year over 130 girls from 22 FRC teams participated.
During Girls’ Generation, the girls are the drive team, pit crew, and all the other roles on the team. Through it, girls, who are traditionally less likely to go into STEM fields, gain an enthusiasm that lasts throughout the season and beyond.
Girls’ Generation uses last year’s FRC competition robot so no new construction is necessary.
Location: Catlin Gabel School Gymnasium
Address: 8825 SW Barnes Rd. Portland, OR, 97225
More information can be found here.