Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines is excited to announce that its all-girl robotics team, the Gadget Girls, will compete at the 6th Annual NC FIRST Robotics Regional Tournament. This premier engineering challenge for middle and high school students will be held March 19-21 at Dorton Area on the North Carolina State Fair Grounds in Raleigh.
“At Girl Scouts, we work every day to build girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place,” said Lisa Jones, chief executive officer at Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines. “By offering this cooperative, hands-on robotics program, Girl Scouts are learning how STEM fields can help achieve their goals now and in the future.”
Every January, FIRST unveils the competition’s “game” and entering teams receive a kit of common parts that are used to build the core systems of the robot — but the teams won’t find an instruction manual. This year’s RECYCLE RUSHSM, is a recycling-themed game played by two alliances of three robots each. Teams score points when their robots stack totes on scoring platforms, cap those stacks with recycling containers, and appropriately dispose of pool noodles representing litter.
Over a six week design period which began in January, the 2015 Gadget Girls team have conceptualized, designed, built, and programmed their robot, appropriately named “Cookie Monster,” for this year’s competition. The team, which is comprised of nine Girl Scouts ranging from grades 7 to 12, is also supported by seven adult mentors. These nine Girl Scouts all attend different schools and some even drive 45 minutes one way to attend the pre-competition team sessions.
“Creating opportunities for girls to explore science, technology, engineering and math, and exposing girls to female role models in these fields are essentials pieces of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience,” added Jones. “We are so proud of our Gadget Girls robotics team and are inspired to see them lead the next generation of girls and young women excelling in STEM.”
Thanks to the generous support of CenturyLink, this is the third regional competition for the Girl Scout team which is part of Girl Scouts – NC Coastal Pines’ STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative. This year, engineers and other STEM professionals from CenturyLink, Plexus Engineering, Cisco, Lenovo, Sensus, and Duke University volunteered their time and support at build sessions, and will help the Gadget Girls team problem solve at the upcoming competition.
“We are proud to partner with Girl Scouts to bring this unique robotics experience to girls in central and eastern North Carolina,” said Bill Hanchey, Vice President of Eastern Region Regulatory and Legislative Affairs at CenturyLink. “This is an exciting way in which CenturyLink is helping provide opportunities for youth to explore science and technology, and help to level the playing field for our aspiring female STEM leaders of tomorrow.”