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 had a chance to test on the field, the pizza was served and everyone had a slice or two.
Once Girls of Steel had cleaned the hoppers and attached the ropes to the airships, the matches began! Congratulations to all the teams in attendance- the robots looked great! It was especially exciting to learn about each of the subsystems on each of the teams’ bot and learn why they chose to specialize in one aspect of the game or another. Many of the robots even showed off their climbing abilities, including our team! It was definitely an exciting moment to watch our robot climb, as this is the first time in Girls of Steel history that we have successfully included that aspect on our competition robot!
This year, Girls of Steel are partnering with FIRST Ladies in their mission “to provide a place for girls on teams around the world to make connections and get support.” As part of the Week Zero festivities, Girls of Steel held a small FIRST Ladies meet-up to connect and socialize with other girls in attendance. At the meet-up we held a speed-dating interview in which we interviewed other girls about what it meant to be a girl on a co-ed robotics team or, in our case, a girl on FRC team. To continue spreading our mission together, we plan on holding another get together at the Pittsburgh Regional.
After all of the festivities came to a close, the event ended with a group picture of all the teams. Then, it was time to dance and explore the airship! We received wonderful feedback about the event and the energy and excitement in the building was palpable. Here are some quotes from the event:
“I had so much fun today! It was great to test our robot for the first time and to see what we have to perfect by Bag and Tag.”
“It was great to see my robot do what we built it to do. Thank you Girls of Steel for hosting this event!”
“Watching all of the robots and what they can do makes me very excited for the Pittsburgh Regional! I made a lot of friends today.”
“Teams were really nice and shared their design ideas and advice. I feel like my team can go back and improve our robot to be competition ready!”
Thank you to all the teams and our Regional FIRST director, Patricia DePra, along with Nick Winwood, Greater Pittsburgh FIRST Senior Mentor, who joined us at Week Zero! On behalf of Girls of Steel, we wish all teams good luck in finalizing your robot and we can’t wait to see you again at the Pittsburgh Regional March 16-18! Thank you to all those on the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Committee for working so hard in organizing the Greater Pittsburgh Regional, we look forward to compete with our Pittsburgh FIRST community!
Special thanks to the parents of Girls of Steel that have been working nonstop to make Week Zero and the 2017 competition season a success. Thank you for your dedication in replicating the FIRST Steamworks field elements at our very own practice field and making endless pins and bandanas. We could not do it without you!