On November 16th, Girls of Steel traveled north to Oakville, Ontario in Canada. The next morning, we attended the conference hosted by SWAT (FRC team 771), Canada’s first all-girls team.
We enjoyed a keynote speech by Karthik Kanagasabapathy about helping other FIRST teams and the benefits of Gracious Professionalism®. We gave two presentations, one that was business-oriented and another that was tech-oriented. This was Girls of Steel’s 7th year attending and presenting at the conference.
Our first presentation was titled Building a Pipeline for Students in STEM. We spoke with members of attending FIRST teams about the pipeline that Girls of Steel has created and helped them to think of ways that they could integrate parts of our pipeline into their team structure. At the end of our presentation, we had a discussion with other teams about what their teams do for outreach, fundraising, and more, and got lots of good ideas on how we can improve and add to our existing programs! Then, we packed up all of our stuff and quickly moved to the another room for our next presentation about our plate and standoff design.
Our second presentation was on our plate and standoff construction. We presented to various mentors and students about how they can implement this simple method to the construction of their robot. After our presentation, we had everyone come up to check out the chassis project and try building it. One of the mentors of a second-year team was very interested in our presentation and talked to us about how he could take what he learned and apply it to his team’s robot. He said that their team tried to use a version of the plate and standoff method but loved how refined our system was. We said we were glad to stay in touch with him and send him our slideshow!
After finishing both of our presentations, we left to go visit Niagara Falls. Along the way, we stopped and got lunch at Harper’s Landing, which was really tasty! We had left early enough that it was still light outside when we got to Niagara Falls so we had plenty of time for group photos. We had a lot of fun trying to take the pictures so everyone was included! Even though it was a little chilly, the falls were so gorgeous! Next, we stopped into the gift shop, where we got some souvenirs. A couple of the girls got hot chocolate, which they described as, “a Hershey bar in a cup.” After visiting Niagara Falls, it was just a couple more hours before we were back in Pittsburgh. The Girls of Steel trip to SWATposium was an amazing experience! The girls had a lot of fun presenting and sharing with the other teams, and Girls of Steel learned a lot about different outreach and building strategies as well. The 2018 trip to SWATposium was an educational trip and a fun one as well!