Partnership Announcement: Meet the RoboChicks of Girls Scouts of Greater Atlanta!
Today marks the beginning of a great relationship. THIS is what it's all about, friends. Recently, I spent an afternoon with two AMAZING girls - Brittany, 15 & Madison, 12. Together they make up Troop #16863, a dominating powerhouse team that is leading the pack for their RoboChicks team of 6 girls... all with the help of their coach, Bisa Kenney. These girls mean business - they are designing & building robotics, taking home trophies, & standing tall as smart young ladies.
#WomenInSTEAM is partnering up with RoboChicks, just one organization within the Greater Girl Scouts of Atlanta. RoboChicks is exactly why I started this blog... to highlight young girls confident enough to be the only girls in a room full of boys & to share their stories to inspire more young girls to follow their dreams. Children & adults alike need to see & hear more stories of women in male dominated fields in order to begin to close the gender gap.
Step 1: See where the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta call home!
Together with Alicia Jordan, the External Relations Coordinator for the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Brittany & Madison gave me a tour of the LEED Silver Certified bldg that the Girl Scouts helped design. Everything from stormwater runoff and landfill diversion, to multiple recycling stations and plug-ins for the office's multiple electric cars - the LEED Tour they took me on is interactive, incorporating learning opportunities throughout for all Girl Scouts who take a tour of the beautiful and thoughtful campus.
Step 2: Meet the RoboChicks!
Brittany & Madison are NO joke, these girls are SMART.
Last year, Bart Sudderth (one of the RoboChicks mentors/teachers, member of 100 Black Men of Atlanta Robotics, & founder of Millennium Training Services- an organization to assist the development and implementation of programs to improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, (STEM), literacy for America’s students) gave Brittany & Madison the opportunity of a lifetime. And GIRL did they capitalize!
"Mr. Bart", as the girls call him, gave Brittany & Madison a robotics kit that they used to build & enter in the Regional & National SeaPerch Challenges. Teams in this competition are primarily male, or a mix of male & female, & have an entire school year to design & build their robotics for the competition... Brittany & Madison were an all-girl team of TWO, the only Girl Scouts sponsored team in the competition, & had only ELEVEN DAYS to build their robot!
In the regional competition, Brittany & Madison placed FIRST in the overall category, FIRST in the presentation category, and SECOND for their robot's performance in the pool!
At the national compeition, which was held at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Brittany & Madison's hot pink robot placed THIRD out of 158 teams & was the first Georgia team to EVER place in the national competition!
THAT. IS. AMAZING.
Mr. Bart has been imperitive to the success & enthusiasm in these girls. Brittany, Madison, & their entire RoboChicks team will be meeting with him soon for some additional robotics training & education. Through Mr. Bart & various other volunteers, the girls get to work with & learn from engineers of all ages & backgrounds, including the engineer behind the Super Soaker!
Brittany said, "Mr. Bart is definitely tough, but he isn't mean. He is teaching us how to act in a professional environment." Madison chimed in, "I told Mr. Bart I was scared once & he told me I had 5 minutes to be scared. After that, he was going to come back around to check on me & get to work."
Now, the RoboChicks expanded team of 6 girls has their sights set on the next challenge... First Tech Challenge, Res-Q. They'll have to design & build a robot that functions autonomously for 30 seconds, is driver controlled for 1.5 minutes, and is successful within 30 seconds of the "end game", the category worth the most points in which their robot will have to climb a hill & hang from a bar. You try building that!
Brittany & Madison really get it. We talked about #WomenInSTEAM & the unfortunate reality that STEAM fields are male dominated. Madison says that "when people think of girls, they think of makeup & cooking. They don't think of smart girls who want to be megatronics engineers like me." And she's so right. It takes a lot of confidence to be a woman in a male dominated field & these girls are lightyears ahead of women & girls much older than them.
Brittany? Well, she wants to be a "neurosurgeon who works with biomedical technology". "Ew, I can't go inside someones brain like that," said Madison. Brittany, whose inspiration is the incredible Dr. Ben Carson, responded, "I should do brain surgery on Donald Trump, I'd be doing us all a favor!" Brittany was also recently nominated as WIT (Women In Technology) Girls Get IT "Girl of the Year", for her involvement in STEAM programs, strong STEAM academics, and the lasting & positive impression she is leaving on the community.
Step 3: Get YOUR kids involved!
On October 24th, the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta will be hosting their STEM Expo 2015 & #WomenInSTEAM will be there! Girls will discover technology by exploring their everyday surroundings and learn about high-tech careers. They’ll be able to interact with cool exhibits that will teach girls how a hovercraft moves (then ride it!) and learn how engineers built a human sized hamster wheel (then try to make it move!) and do so much more!
This event is open to the public & is the perfect way to get some hands-on science fun for you & your kids! Tickets are on sale here, pricing goes up on Sept 25th so be sure to register today!
If you're interested: Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta - Volunteer Application