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 →
Girls of Steel FTC 9820 & 9981: Update #2

Girls of Steel FTC 9820 & 9981: Update #2

Building has officially started for both FTC teams, and we have entered a stage in the season when creativity, strategy, and expertise become vital to having a well-functioning robot.  We have currently have three weeks until our first scrimmage on Saturday, December 9th, and we are ready to work hard and build our robot, but also become inspired along the way. We first spent our fifth meeting on October 17th finishing our pushbots and experimenting with the kit we use to build our competition robot.  It was important to become familiar with the…continue reading →
2017-2018 FRC Team Structure Update

2017-2018 FRC Team Structure Update

The team structure of the Girls of Steel Robotics FRC team plays a vital role in the efficiency of reaching our goals. The goals this season area: Reach 5,000+ people through direct contact. Every girl becomes confident in championing an outreach event. Consistently maximize autonomous points scored throughout the season. Every girl sets and makes progress toward a team-related year-long goal. During the 11 weeks of preseason this year, instead of doing a technical “End of Preseason Project”, we are focusing more of our time and efforts into our business sub teams for…continue reading →
2017-2018 Preseason Update #1

2017-2018 Preseason Update #1

Last week on October 17, 2017, the Girls of Steel had the 4th all hands meeting of the preseason which began on September 26th. So far we have been getting settled, getting to know new girls, making changes from last year to better the team, and working on preparing for the upcoming build season! During the all hands slideshow on Tuesdays, we discuss the various events and opportunities coming up within the next few months, like outreach events.  This week we heard about mentoring at FLL meetings and leading chassis workshops, along with…continue reading →
Girls of Steel FTC 9820 & 9981: Update #1

Girls of Steel FTC 9820 & 9981: Update #1

Just like the rest of the girls on the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) teams, I am new to Girls of Steel (GoS). When I started I had no idea what to expect, but as soon as I walked into the first meeting at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) I knew I was welcome and that this was where I belonged. As members of Girls of Steel we believe that women can pursue anything that they want and be whatever they want. Girls of Steel inspires girls to go into STEM careers and believe in…continue reading →
Highlights of 2017 Summer Camps

Highlights of 2017 Summer Camps

Girls of Steel Robotics has had an action packed summer! After returning home from Washington D.C. for the FIRST NAC Conference (you can read more about our trip here), Girls of Steel began mentoring and running camps and programs across Pittsburgh. Our first camp was from July 5 to July 7 and was in partnership with Gwen’s Girls. Gwen’s Girls is an organization focused on empowering young women in Allegheny county. The Gwen's Girls campers were split into four groups and came up with creative team names, such as The Blue Jay Queens, The…continue reading →
Steel City Showdown

Steel City Showdown

On August 5th, the Girls of Steel went to the first ever FRC offseason event held in Pittsburgh - the Steel City Showdown. Even more exciting is the fact that it was held at Carnegie Mellon University right next door to our home workspace! Many of our students and mentors volunteered at the event, and it was wonderful to see so much dedication from all 15 teams - almost every team brought volunteers and this event couldn’t have happened without them. Two more teams were named team Trinity and team Matrix. They built…continue reading →
Girls of Steel in Washington D.C.

Girls of Steel in Washington D.C.

We began our eventful trip on Sunday, June 25, 2017! That day, we woke up early and started the 4-hour drive to Washington DC. As soon as we arrived in DC we registered for the National Advocacy Conference (NAC) as well as the National Coalition for Girls Schools (NCGS) conference at the very impressive Marriott Washington Wardman Park Hotel. We were taking part in NAC to speak to our representatives about providing funding for more schools to create after-school STEM programs like FIRST. That afternoon we attended conference prep sessions for NAC where…continue reading →
WOW Competition

WOW Competition

On May 27, 2017, we competed at the WOW Championship off-season event Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.  Off Season Events are competitions run by teams outside the FRC Competitions Season. It was smaller, shorter (1 day opposed to 3), cheaper, and a bit more informal than the other official regional competitions that we participated in this season. “WOW” stands for West Virginia, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania. 32 teams were invited based on how well they did in regionals that they had competed in. Since we ranked 31st based on our performance at the Pittsburgh and Buckeye…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Championships

STEAMWORKS Championships

We just recently returned from St. Louis, where our team competed in the First Robotics Competition Championship! We had the honor of competing inside the giant America’s Center Dome for the last time before the Championship’s transition to Detroit next year. The competition was incredibly exciting. The championship was split into four days, the first day was occupied with required inspections and practice matches, allowing us to test our robot in a competitive setting and eliminate minor errors, such as hazardous edges or weight violations. With the exception of some bumper troubleshooting, we…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Buckeye Regional

STEAMWORKS Buckeye Regional

Last weekend, March 29 to April 1st, the team traveled to Cleveland Ohio for the Buckeye Regional! It was a great 3 days filled with excitement! Late Wednesday evening, our load in team brought in the robot and helped set up the pit for the days ahead. On Thursday morning, the girls got to fixing the robot of for practice matches, just making sure everything's in tip top shape. Since Thursday's are practice days, not much occurred, most of the girls arrived and our safety captain had a meeting, but otherwise girls were…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Greater Pittsburgh Regional

STEAMWORKS Greater Pittsburgh Regional

The Girls of Steel traveled to California University of Pennsylvania March 16-18, 2017 for our first regional, The Greater Pittsburgh Regional, with the fabulous MO! We did phenomenally, with awards won and matches dominated, so all in all it was a great weekend for everyone on the team. Thursday, the first day of competition, held some downtime and practice matches for our drive team and robot to warm up. Lots of teams didn’t even show up to the practice matches, so there wasn't a point in scouting truly (but we did!). Our awards team…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 6

STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 6

Week six of build season for the girls of steel is over!!! The last week of build season was very efficient and we finished with a bang! Although it was the sixth week, the girls persevered and kept working hard all the way to the end. During this week, programming worked on velocity tuning for vision, implementation for motion and the beginning of autonomous, modifying metlab reports, lights, and testing the shifting on the competition robot. Mechanical girls riveted the gear mechanism together, attached the rails to the gear mechanism, built the competition…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Week Zero Scrimmage

STEAMWORKS Week Zero Scrimmage

On February 18, 2017, Girls of Steel hosted 12 teams at our annual Week Zero Scrimmage held in our practice field within the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC). Teams from all over Pennsylvania brought their robots to test and compete before the six-week build season is over. Before the matches, people had a chance to meet other teams, make last minute repairs, and test on their field. Just before the pizza arrived, many of the Girls of Steel members showed up after spending their morning working on the practice bot, BO. After everyone…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 5

STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 5

It is week five of build season and the Girls of Steel are still going strong! This past week, a lot of progress was made on our robots. Since there is only one week left, we are working hard to be as efficient as we can. The week started on Monday, February 6th, where the Mechanical team continued disassembling the chassis and attaching new plates, and prototyping the corner climber.  Electronics girls finished putting encoders in gearboxes and helped with mechanical tasks. Design team worked on shooter placement, gear mechanisms, adding churro to the…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 4

STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 4

Week four was very efficient and a lot of progress was made by the Girls of Steel. Monday started the week off well; all the girls worked very hard. Programming worked on vision alignment and implementation, continued motion planning implementation, and tested the manipulator code. The mechanical team prototyped the fuel shooter, finished the gear ramp assembly, made chassis modifications--two standoffs were moved. Electronics girls mounted the real e-board, worked on the practice chassis, connected tubing and encoders to drive motors, attached cameras to mounting piece, added talons to test e-board, and organized practice…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 3

STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 3

Week three of build season for the Girls of Steel went splendidly! A lot of work was completed, but there is much more to do. We are halfway through build season!! On the first meeting of the week, Monday, many tasks were accomplished, Electronics girls started practice electronics board and Programming started working on vision alignment and added cameras for drivers. The mechanical team attached e-boards to chassis, cut and drilled short pieces for bumpers, and continued prototyping and the design girls worked on mechanisms and the gussets in CAD. Then on Tuesday,…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 2

STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 2

The second week of build season is over and a lot was completed during the four meetings that took place this week. It started off with our first meeting on Monday, where we got straight to work. The electronics team finished running the tubing for the temp e-board, and the mechanical girls worked on bumpers. In programming, the girls finished some of the autonomous programs, and the design girls determined what mechanism to use, assembled the first chassis, and laid out where they want different mechanisms on the chassis. The next meeting of…continue reading →
STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 1 & more

STEAMWORKS Build Season Week 1 & more

This past week was the first official week of build season for the Girls of Steel and we are off to a great start. Now, the high school girls are required to come to GoS for an average 10 hours a week, for the next 6 weeks. For kickoff, January 7th, the team was invited to Beattie Tech to watch the game reveal video. Upon seeing how the field has changed and the innovative game pieces, the girls got super excited! After a quick brainstorming session at Beattie, everyone reconvened at CMU for…continue reading →
Girls of Steel Mentor and Team Member Travel to China

Girls of Steel Mentor and Team Member Travel to China

On November 16th, 2016, Tom Pope (GoS mentor) and Anne Kailin “AK” Northam (GoS student) flew to Shenzhen, China for a weeklong trip to promote FRC in the area. They were accompanied by Tao Lin, a mentor of team 6414 Voyager from the Shenzhen Foreign Language School. Around half of Voyager’s students came to the GoS Feiyue summer camp held at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute in 2016 and were inspired to make their own team back home. The trip to China was partially to build relations with this team and help them…continue reading →
The World’s Most Powerful Women In Tech 2016

The World’s Most Powerful Women In Tech 2016

Here's to a great way to end 2016 - A post by Tom Fisher, founder of Invest Smarter Publishing. Technology has afforded us to make our everyday lives easier. We no longer have to wait for days to communicate with our friends and relatives who are on the other side of the world. We can go shopping for things we want without having to get up from our seats in front of our computer. All these things and more cannot be possible without the people behind these innovations in technology, particularly the women…continue reading →
2016-2017 Preseason Meeting #11

2016-2017 Preseason Meeting #11

It’s the last meeting before Kickoff! A little snow and a cold going around kept more girls from the meeting than usual so everyone that could make it picked up the slack. To start off, everyone collected their Sarris Candies fundraiser orders and then got down to business. As usual, we went through the all hands slides and discussed the GoS pitch that the outreach sub team has been working hard to perfect.   Everyone knows their responsibilities and got diligently to work. Each of the technical sub teams: programming, design, mechanical and electrical put the…continue reading →
2016-2017 Preseason Meeting #10

2016-2017 Preseason Meeting #10

Preseason meeting number ten (12/6/16) went splendidly, we have only one more mandatory meeting for all the girls after today. We cannot believe that build season is just a couple weeks away. The meeting began with the All Hands Meeting, at which we went over the All Hands Slides. We went over the agenda, schedule, and tasks that we need to accomplish today. We also talked about our pipeline. After that, we then focused on the mission statement and the team goals, as usual. We were reminded of some exciting, upcoming outreach events.…continue reading →