More Girls Participating on Robotics Team 4914
During the 2016 FRC Season, 40% of the overall members of Team 4914, Vic Park’s robotics teams identified as female. Team 4914 is proudly able to tell you that it has seen a 5% increase from last year with 45% of the team being girls. In recent years, ever since the team formed in 2013, the percentage girls on the team has been rising. Girls have a very important role on the team with 10 out of 17 leaders on Team 4914 being female. The following is an interview with a couple of these amazing women displaying their interest and passion in STEM through our school’s Robotics Team.
Aisha Khan: What’s your take on girls in robotics? What does it do for them? Why is girls participation important?
Ravicha Ravinthiran: Joining the team, gives girls and anybody for the matter to learn the values of FIRST and allows you to follow your passion. What I really love about robotics is the fact that there is really something for everyone on the team. Many people think that team 4914 is very STEM based. Even though a really big aspect of the team revolves around building a robot that we use to compete in competitions, there are many opportunities for students to follow their passion in business, public speaking and the arts. Girl participation is important because I feel that careers in STEM are still male dominant and the team allows girls who are passionate about STEM or considering engineering, programming, etc. to test the waters. You also get to meet like minded individuals and share ideas. I feel that the participation of girls is just as important as guys. We all bring something useful to the table.
AK: What do girls do on the team? How do they contribute?
Megan Uderian: Girls can contribute in multiple ways to the team. For example, I am a female leader and girls have the chance to learn a lot through the different subteams. One of the leaders of our build and design subteam is a girl and she is amazing at what she does. Girls can do the same things as the boys, we just have to put ourselves out there more and not be afraid of what the boys will think.
AK: As a student in grade 9, how would you describe your experience with the robotics team, so far? Are you excited for the upcoming competition season?
Ishra Aroni: So far Robotics has been a huge part of my high school experience. Right at the beginning of the year, I had the chance to go to the two off season event, and both helped me learn a lot more about how the team worked. Given this is my first year I was obviously very lost and clueless, but everyone here made me feel so warm and loved and made sure to help me in any way they could. And of course I can’t wait for competition season to start, especially because we will be hosting a district event right here at VP. I’m so excited!
AK: What would be your advice to girls who are not a part of the robotics team but have a passion and interest for STEM, and possibly wish to join?
Yuying Lin: Don’t hesitate at all! At first I didn’t really want to join Robotics because I felt that it was mostly a club for boys, but then I realized that many girls were in it as well and are making significant contributions. I have always enjoyed building things and tinkering, and joining Team 4914 just made me love it even more. You’ll also meet many unique individuals and make friends that you wouldn’t anywhere else!
Team 4914 Update: Build Season is drawing a close and competition season is just around the corner! VP, hope you all come out to the district event competition, we will also be hosting on the 17th, 18th, and 20th of March, 2017.
Written by: AISHA F. KHAN