2018-2019 Preseason Update #3

2018-2019 Preseason Update #3

The Girls of Steel are halfway through preseason!  The girls are excited and working hard in preparation for our fast-approaching end to preseason and our EOPP unveiling. Quick follow-up: We went to the Rah Cha Cha Ruckus competition on October 27th and received the "Alien Invaders" Award! Starting with our business side, the girls were extremely fortunate to have Matthew Romeike speak to them on Tuesday, October 30th. He is currently an MBA student at Tepper and the president of the Finance Club. He worked as an engineer for Siemens after graduating from…continue reading →
Girls of Steel FTC 9820, 9821, & 9981 Update #1

Girls of Steel FTC 9820, 9821, & 9981 Update #1

A new season of Girls of Steel FTC has started!         We were introduced to FTC at the 3-hour FTC boot camp on September 16th and our weekly meetings started on Tuesday, September 18th.  At boot camp we played around with the pieces that we would actually use for the season. We split up into 3 groups to build the simplest kind of robot, and practiced driving. This was important because it gave us an insight of what the upcoming season would be like.           We…continue reading →
Power Up! Rah Cha Cha Ruckus

Power Up! Rah Cha Cha Ruckus

On October 27th, several Girls of Steel members and mentors traveled to Rochester, New York to compete at the Rah Cha Cha Ruckus, which is an off-season FIRST Power Up Competition, loosely based on a Halloween theme. Ruckus is sponsored by several Rochester and Western New York-area FIRST teams! We brought our 2018 competition robot, Clyde. Out of the 37 qualifier matches Girls of Steel competed in 5 of them. The team won 2 matches. The best round was number 3 when the autonomous worked perfectly and Clyde scored several points on the…continue reading →
2018-2019 Preseason Update #2

2018-2019 Preseason Update #2

The fourth week of preseason has just finished, and the Girls of Steel have been extremely productive these last two weeks. Starting with our business meetings every Tuesday, the girls have been working very hard to stay up-to pace with our plan. The Awards team has continued to work on their chairman's essays. Awards has been collecting feedback from the girls for outlining the Woodie Flowers essay for our mentor's nomination. The Finance team has continued to update the business plan and team goals, working on the Entrepreneurship Award. They have been choosing…continue reading →
2018-2019 Preseason Update #1

2018-2019 Preseason Update #1

Another year of the Girls of Steel has just begun! It's our 9th season!  Preseason just started two weeks ago on September 25th, and the team has already been diligently working to be ahead of the game. Our business side is our first priority right now, as well as our End of Preseason Project (EOPP). Since our preseason has just started, the business side of the team is trying to get all of our affairs in order. The media team has been assigning people to our social media accounts to start posting, and…continue reading →
Highlights of Summer 2018 Outreach

Highlights of Summer 2018 Outreach

Girls of Steel had quite the eventful summer of 2018! As always, we continued our annual outreach programs and camps, but we also introduced several new events and worked on expanding our reach through advocacy. FIRST NAC, June 24-26, 2018, Washington DC We began our summer activities by attending the FIRST National Advocacy Conference from June 24 to June 27. Four members of Girls of Steel had the opportunity to meet with many of our elected officials and advocate for increased funding for ESSA Title IV part A. You can read more about…continue reading →
Meet-Up with Ivanka Trump on “Robotics Row”

Meet-Up with Ivanka Trump on “Robotics Row”

On Tuesday, August 14th, we had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ivanka Trump at the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s “STEM/Workforce Development” event hosted by Astrobotic Technology, a robotics company located on Pittsburgh’s iconic “Robotics Row” in the Strip District. Five members of Girls of Steel were able to meet Ms. Trump and discuss issues that are important to our team, as well as show her our robot chassis kit! Ms. Trump was delighted to see us when she arrived at the event, and immediately began to ask us questions about Girls of Steel and…continue reading →
Girls of Steel at 2018 FIRST NAC

Girls of Steel at 2018 FIRST NAC

Getting up early isn’t usually an activity that teenagers do readily, but on Sunday, June 24th at 6:30 am, the four representatives from Girls of Steel - Anna N., Kristina, Caroline, and Claire - were standing excitedly in a CMU parking lot. At about 11 am, after four+ hours of sitting in a van, we finally arrived in our nation's Capitol, Washington, DC. Eagerly, we clambered out of the car and got changed into our Girls of Steel Rosie t-shirt and went out to lunch. When the National Advocacy Conference (NAC) started at…continue reading →
Daisy & Brownie Troops earn Robotics Badges

Daisy & Brownie Troops earn Robotics Badges

After a successful event in December 2017 with a group of young Girl Scouts from Daisy troop 16121, we decided to hold another event in May where the girls would earn a robotics badge. Since Girls of Steel and the Girl Scouts organization have similar missions in boosting the confidence of youth girls and giving them new experiences and exposure to new ideas, it seemed like a great connection to make. The Girl Scouts organization recently launched a set of robotics badges for Daisy Scouts, including one called “What Robots Do” which covers foundational…continue reading →
Power Up! WOW District Championships

Power Up! WOW District Championships

The excitement from the Detroit World Championships carried us in to the WOW (W​est Virginia, O​hio, and W​estern/Central Pennsylvania) District Championships on May 19, 2018. The top 32 teams from our district competed for the title of District Champion in this off-season competition held at the Rike Cener at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Girls of Steel qualified for the WOW District Championships through our performance at the Miami Valley Regional and Greater Pittsburgh Regional.  Unlike other district championships, the results of this competition didn’t matter as much, as the winners did not qualify for…continue reading →
Power Up! Championships, Detroit

Power Up! Championships, Detroit

    The Girls of Steel took a trip to Detroit, Michigan to compete in the Darwin Division at the FIRST World Championships April 25 to 28, 2018! We qualified at the Miami Valley Regional with a Wild Card and at the Greater Pittsburgh Regional where we received the Regional Chairman’s Award! The team took a bus to Detroit, loaded in and immediately began repairing and improving our robot, Clyde. In the interim after our last regional we manufactured a climber mechanism to add to Clyde. With this addition, we were able to…continue reading →
Power Up! Greater Pittsburgh Regional

Power Up! Greater Pittsburgh Regional

On March 22nd to 24th, the Girls of Steel Robotics team competed at California University of PA at the Greater Pittsburgh Regional. There were 52 teams at the regional, with teams from all over the world. There were two teams from Asia that are mentored by Girls of Steel, Savage Tumaz, FRC 6947, from Chinese Taipei and Voyager, FRC 6414, from Mainland China. We also mentored a local rookie team, the Brashear Bulls Robotics, FRC 7274, that competed at their first event and got a taste of FIRST competitions. The Girls of Steel…continue reading →
Power Up! Miami Valley Regional

Power Up! Miami Valley Regional

The Girls of Steel spent Week 1 of Power Up! competition season at the Nutter Center at Wright State University for the 2018 Miami Valley Regional! The Thursday practice matches resulted in a smoking motor and some other mechanical issues, but our pit crew was ready for the tasks and were able to get Clyde ready for Friday’s qualification matches. On Thursday night we had a pizza party and game night with two all girls teams -Murphy’s Outlaws (677) and the Fighting Unicorns (2399). We had a great time getting to know the girls on…continue reading →
2018 Build Season Week 6

2018 Build Season Week 6

Our final week of Power Up! build season was stressful and very busy, but successful. The whole team finished up last minute jobs and projects, trying to get our robot as close to perfection as we can before bag and tag. On Tuesday, February 13th, we had our weekly all hands meeting and discussed some last minute details that we need to wrap up before build season comes to an end. All the girls aim to finish up their final outreach credits before the deadline and got in some extra build season hours…continue reading →
2018 Week Zero Scrimmage at NREC

2018 Week Zero Scrimmage at NREC

2018’s Week Zero Scrimmage on February 17, 2018 was extremely exciting as each team competed in this year’s FIRST game of Power Up! The schedule of the day was the team check ins at 10:30 in which teams would bring in their robots and fill out or hand in release  forms, getting ready for the day. At 11:00, teams began to practice and test their robots for the scrimmage matches. After a lunch (46 large pizzas!) at 12:00, the Scrimmage matches began at 1:00 for a few hours of friendly competition, and the…continue reading →
2018 Build Season Week 5

2018 Build Season Week 5

We can’t believe that it is already week 5 of build season! We have accomplished so much in the past weeks and we are so excited that competition season is on the horizon. On Tuesday we had our weekly All Hands meeting where we officially announced our competition season leadership council.  This year we will have a Strategy Team, a Pit Crew and of course a Drive Team. Each girl will be on one of these subteams and all of the girls will be on the Safety and Spirit teams!!  We also announced…continue reading →
2018 Build Season Week 4

2018 Build Season Week 4

Lions, Tigers, and… Robots? Oh my! The week starting January 29th, the 4th week of build season, the Girls of Steel had a very action-packed adventure! Monday, girls came in early to get a head start on the excitement. We worked on our lift mechanism, and trained girls in the art of riveting! Just like our inspiration, Rosie, we worked on improving our chassis and riveted our wheel treads! Tuesday, right after school, we helped the Brashear Bulls robotics team, FRC 7274, the rookie team we're mentoring, and hurried back to our meeting…continue reading →
2018 Build Season Week 3

2018 Build Season Week 3

Just finished the third week of build season! Girls are tapping, riveting, designing, and testing! At Tuesday's all hands meeting, we heard about all the new outreach events for the spring and we started brainstorming names for our practice and competition robot. The official names will be coming out next week! As for the building, the Design team is working towards finishing the final CAD and assembly on the practice bot and are working on the lift for the final design. The Programming team continues to test different drive styles by driving the…continue reading →
2018 Build Season Week 2

2018 Build Season Week 2

Week 2 of Build Season is now over, and so much progress has been made by the Girls of Steel! This week we congratulated the FTC teams and FLL teams after they attended their competitions and finished their seasons!  That's a lot of cake, but they deserved it. Now more about build season! In recent news, FRC shadowing began this week. FTC members have the opportunity to shadow the Girls of Steel and see each subteam in action and see how we operate during Build Season. Thursday, January 18th, was Teadora’s turn to…continue reading →
2018 Build Season Week 1

2018 Build Season Week 1

Happy build season! The six week FRC Power Up build season has officially begun, and we are hard at work. On Saturday, January 6th, we all met at CMU to watch the 2018 game reveal. This year’s game is FIRST Power Up, inspired by retro video games.  A rookie team we are mentoring, FRC 7274, Brashear Bulls Robotics, joined us at our kickoff meeting which was held at Carnegie Mellon University.   After we learned what the challenge would be this year, we brainstormed what specific challenges we would prioritize, what skills we…continue reading →
2017-2018 Preseason Update #3

2017-2018 Preseason Update #3

The week of Dec. 12th brought us to the end of preseason 2017-2018!! The Girls of Steel team has accomplished so much these past 11 weeks. The Awards team was able to write all of their essays for the different awards. The Finance team worked on many fundraisers, such as the Sarris Candies Holiday fundraiser, and created new fundraisers, like the “We Can Do It” t-shirt fundraiser. This preseason, the Media team focused on branding through the social media accounts, making informational videos, and through these blog posts. Both Finance and Media collaborated…continue reading →
Girls of Steel FTC 9820 and 9981: Update #3

Girls of Steel FTC 9820 and 9981: Update #3

The Girls of Steel FTC (First Tech Challenge) teams have been continuing with regular all hands meetings (November 14, 28, December 5, 12, & 19)  as well as meetings added on Sunday afternoons for preparing for the Pittsburgh Area scrimmage that was on December 9, 2017 at Peters Township Middle School.  Our teams' robots are pictured below. Some of our team members have also been doing outreach with the Girls of Steel FRC team.  For example, Aditi went to the Coding Gals presentation at Mt. Lebanon High School on December 13, 2017. The 19…continue reading →
2017-2018 Preseason Update #2

2017-2018 Preseason Update #2

Preparing for build season is a monumental task for the Girls of Steel. We need to make sure that everyone, including the new girls, feels completely confident in their skills that are needed for build season to run as smoothly as possible. To make sure that everyone remembers how to be safe in the high bay and the machine shop, we require that ALL girls and mentors complete shop training with our CMU mentor, Chuck. Chuck goes over all of the machines and how to operate them as well as what protocol to…continue reading →
We traveled to Canada for 2017 SWATPosium

We traveled to Canada for 2017 SWATPosium

On November 3rd, Girls of Steel traveled to Oakville, Ontario in Canada to attend SWATposium. 2017 SWATposium, November 4th, was a one day conference hosted by SWAT (FRC team 771) where FRC and FLL teams came together, gave presentations, and learned from one another. This was Girls of Steel’s 6th year attending and presenting at the conference, and, as always, it was a great experience! Our day started with an opening speech by Dr. Elliott Coleshill. Dr. Coleshill has done a lot of work with the International Space Station, and he discussed some…continue reading →
FIRST Ladies Movie Night Meet Up

FIRST Ladies Movie Night Meet Up

On Friday, November 17th, 2017, the Girls of Steel hosted a FIRST Ladies meet-up and movie night in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University with girls from surrounding FRC and FTC teams. As an official regional FIRST Ladies partner, Girls of Steel decided to kick off the year’s events with a showing of the movie Hidden Figures (reviewed here). The movie follows three women, Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, that work as “human computers” for NASA in the 1960’s. In the midst of the space race, the Americans experience the pressure…continue reading →