Preseason Meeting #8

This week in our preseason meeting, we began with a presentation by Mr. Eppinger, who explained the step by step process of how to access and use the Girls of Steel affiliated Amazon website.  After this helpful session, Patti announced the winner of the previous week’s talent time - great job to these girls who participated :)! Next, the girls split up into their business sub teams.  In media, the girls were assigned various jobs to focus working on, including the Girls of Steel YouTube account, Five Awesome Robots, Tumblr account, Rookie Firsts,…continue reading →

Preseason Meeting #7 & 2014 SWATposium 2014

At our last preseason meeting, we accomplished many great things! First, during the business meetings, we worked on event pages, the business plan, our presentation for the SWAT Symposium, and brainstormed for outreach. We met with a professor from CMU's Tepper School of Business, who provided great guidance for our presentation! During the technical meetings, we made lots of progress! At the electronics meeting, we learned about pneumatics. We learned how to cut pneumatic tubing properly, the different parts of the pneumatics system and how they work. We look forward to setting up…continue reading →

Preseason Meeting #6

On Tuesday, November 4th we had our 6th preseason meeting!  We started off our meeting with "triad talent time."  This fun-filled 15 minutes included talent acts such as dancing and singing.  Following our triad time, we went into our business sub-teams.  In media, we worked on event pages and blog posting.   Outreach also worked on event pages, and additionally looked for potential events for Girls of Steel to attend. Finance worked on putting together the instruction sheets for the light bulb fundraiser that we are preparing for.  In addition, the finance sub team…continue reading →

Preseason Meeting #5 & Spaghetti Dinner

On Tuesday, October 28th we had out fifth preseason meeting! For the first hour we split up into our business sub teams and worked on specific tasks as well as event pages to document all the things we have done each year! Our technical level training meetings today consisted of Welding, CADing, Mechanical, Electronics and Programming, as usual. Today the welding team got hands-on and worked on some metal scraps. The programming team introduced robot-builder in eclipse to all the new girls. We also thanked all the girls who showed up to the…continue reading →

Preseason Meeting #4 & Self Defense Class

On Tuesday, October 21, we had our 4th preseason meeting! At this meeting, we had all technical level trainings, including CAD and welding, and worked on business tasks, like usual! We also had a meeting for all the Girls of Steel's parents! At this meeting we talked about the schedule for the upcoming year and team obligations. Last Sunday, the Girls of Steel took a self defense class for team bonding! They learned many skills and even had a chance to try them out on one of our mentors .. with protective armor,…continue reading →

FRC Beta Testing

We made good progress on testing the 2015 FRC Control System last week. We wrapped up the report to FIRST on putting the hardware on our summer/pre-season robot project and porting last year's code to the 2015 environment. We had no big issues to report for either. The electronics were tested under low battery conditions to confirm that power to the radio was not interrupted as the battery ran down. That's important because the Field Control System needs to remain in constant contact with all the robots during competition. Finally, the various options…continue reading →

Preseason Meeting #3

We were very busy at our 3rd preseason meeting on October 14th. Girls attended their first business meetings where they were introduced to their new business sub-team: media, outreach, or finance.  Then they went to the Level 0 training for their respective technical sub-teams: programming, electronics, or mechanical.               We also hosted special guests, Ms. Lesley Perry and Ms. Gloria Blackwell of AAUW (one of our awesome sponsors), who visited us while they were in Pittsburgh for a conference.  They went on a tour of the high…continue reading →

Preseason Meeting #2

October 7th was our second official preseason meeting! We had business taste testers - Media, Outreach, and Finance, and Level 0 CAD training, lead by our wonderful mechanical leader! Next week we look forward to finding out what technical sub teams we are on and we'll have our first full meeting with business sub teams!continue reading →

Preseason Meeting #1

Today we had our first official preseason meeting. We rotated from mechanical, electronics, programming, shop tools, and hand tools so the girls all know about the different aspects of the technical side of our team. We also took our team picture, which can be found on our home page or Facebook. Thanks to our leaders and mentors for teaching us about these sub-teams and skills!continue reading →

FRC Beta Testing

On Tuesday September 16, we had another successful beta-testing meeting! Last week FIRST released Update Suite 5.0 and we tried reflashing the roboRIO with the new re-imaging system. Unfortunately, after the re-imaging, we found that we could no longer download code to the roboRIO. For now, we have decided to tackle this problem by downgrading back to Update Suite 4.0. Hopefully we will have more updates on this front next week!  The second task completed this week was taking apart Eve, our 2013 robot. Eve was stripped of bolts, electronics, and any other…continue reading →

FRC Beta Testing

On Tuesday September 9, we cut out the electronics boards and completely wired the super-shifter robot.   In regards to other technical progress, we successfully began transferring code from last year into Github, our new repository, which we are using this year instead of SVN. Our programming leader also setup the Linux machine with FRCSim which means we can start testing out the robot simulator next week! Check back soon for our next update! -Arushicontinue reading →

FRC Beta testing

Hi everyone! We hope you are having a good start to the school year and FRC preseason!! We wanted to give you an update about beta testing! Girls of Steel was one of the teams selected to test FRC's new control system. We’ve been testing out the new electronics in bench testing mode, with all the components wired together on a table instead of mounting them on a robot chassis. We’re really excited about the reduced size and weight of all the parts. Having the digital sidecar integrated right into the roboRIO module…continue reading →

STEM Girlz Summer Camp

This summer, Girls of Steel collaborated with STEM Girlz*, a program of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh*. Thanks to the National Girls Collaborative Project* for funding this collaboration! I have always had an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It was truly rewarding to have had the opportunity to expose such lovely young women (STEM Girlz) to the tremendous world of STEM education and careers. For two weeks in July, Isabella, Anne Kailin, and I worked to aid middle school aged female students of the Pittsburgh Propel Schools* in their exploration of the…continue reading →

Post-Season Scrimmage

Hey guys! Last Saturday we co-hosted a post-season scrimmage with SHARP, FRC Team 3260! Teams 4150 FRobotics and 3955 4-H Gears joined us for some practice matches, obstacle courses, and more! We even had a match with just humans! During that match, autonomous was played with their eyes closed. The rest of the game was just a frantic frenzy. Along the sidelines there was a bake sale, courtesy of SHARP, and pizza! All in all, last Saturday was a great time. We're happy to have co-hosted with SHARP, and work with the rest…continue reading →

Buckeye and Pittsburgh Regionals

Coming back from back to back regionals. Whew! About a week ago, the Girls of Steel went to the Buckeye Regional in Cleveland, where we demonstrated our ability to assist well! We ranked 22! We were picked by Alliance 6, and had a final tough match on Quarterfinal match 3, but lost to Alliance 5. We had a great run, and we are really happy with how well we did. Girls of Steel received the Entrepreneurship Award and the Engineering Inspiration Award, which we are very happy about! We are going to St. Louis!…continue reading →



Build season is over! Bag and Tag lasted to 11:00PM for the Girls of Steel. After Build Season, I realize how much I have learned since Kickoff. Rachel, a member of Girls of Steel, wrote about what she learned during Build Season!

This is my first year on The Girls of Steel robotics team….


On Tuesday the 11th, three Girls of Steel members went to Hershey for the Pennsylvania Education Technology Expo & Conference (PETE&C).  There we presented in the student expo during the morning. We brought Eve (our robot from last year) and showed her off to the crowd. After answering a billion of questions and demonstrating the robot's driving (shooting frisbees wasn't safe) the girls got the opportunity to go to the booths and talk with real tech companies. Many people repeatedly told us about how impressed they were with our team and there were so…continue reading →

End of Week 4!

The robot is finally coming together! This week our goal was to have the robot completed. Although we did not meet our goal, we have made excellent progress and adjusted our schedules accordingly.  We started off the week with a driving chassis and a regular, plain chassis.  By the end of the week we were able to mount all of the electronics onto the second chassis, as well as the wheels, chain, motors, and the pivot mechanisms.  On the side, we are working on developing the collector arm.  By the end of the Tuesdaymeeting, we were able to…continue reading →

Week 4

This week during Girls of Steel, we face some challenges but over-all made excellent progress on the robot. Though delayed by SATs and bad weather, Girls of Steel managed to finished fabrication of the chassis and second chassis.  The drive team had their first practice and learned a lot about driving, and more importantly, debugging. In programming the girls have moved on from pseudo coding and basic testing on the electronics board, to more concrete coding. They have begun programming buttons, refining drive code, and working on camera code. The Girls of Steel…continue reading →

End of Week 2

Moving Chassis!   This week we managed to accomplish the impossible – sticking to the schedule!  Our goal was to have a moving chassis by the end of Saturday, and we accomplished just that. All week each sub-team was hard at work mounting motors, putting on the wheels, adding chain, wiring and mounting electronics, and debugging - to name a few things. The wheels caused the team the most grief this week as mechanical team had to take off the wheels and chain due to unforeseen problems. On another front, the CAD for…continue reading →

End of Week 1

Girls of Steel has had meetings Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Monday this week and we have gotten so much done in that time span. We have welded our chassis together, finished our system diagrams, and designed our major components. The design however is still a work in progress. We have begun to prototype; so far we have worked on our kicker, our collector, and have started experimenting with different bumper configurations. Our programmers have been pseudo-coding the robot and have begun to work on the actual code. They have also been developing simple…continue reading →


This weekend marked the beginning of our build season! The Girls of Steel attended kickoff at Central Catholic High School, right across the street from CMU.  Over 30 girls attended kickoff, and got to watch the game reveal live on the big screen.   This year’s game is Aerial Assist, a soccer-volleyball crossover with a 25 inch ball.  We attended breakout sessions and began brainstorming that morning. We decided to split up into 9 groups, and each made our own strategy.  Here is an exciting fact about the kickoff broadcast: The Girls of Steel uniform was featured at 3:15 of…continue reading →