February 27, 2017 Skype call with the “Eveys” – students from the Every Girl Robotics after school program at the Bronx House in New York. They wore the bandanas we sent to them – so many future Rosies!
February 18, 2017 Week Zero Scrimmage at the CMU/Girls of Steel Robotics Practice Field at NREC with 13 FRC teams.
February 18, 2017 Presentation at SWE WE Local Pittsburgh, “Girls of Steel Robotics: A K-12 Outreach Program at Carnegie Mellon University.”
February 16, 2017 Skype call with FRC team 5871, The Chickadees.
February 14, 2017 Chassis Project and FTC robot demo at 2017 PETE&C in Hershey, PA.
February 8, 2017 Chassis Project demo at Assemble’s Circuits and Contraptions Learning Party.
January 23, 2017 Skype with the “Eveys” students from the Every Girl Robotics after school program at the Bronx House in New York.
January 14, 2017 FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier at Upper St. Clair High School with the Girls of Steel Juniors, FTC team 9820. 9820 finished in 5th place and they were captains of the 4th alliance with 6961 and 8867.
January 7, 2017 – FIRST LEGO League Championship competition at La Roche College with our three FLL teams, The Green Gears FLL 18137, CM Blues FLL 2641, and Dot Dot Dot FLL 4212. The teams competed in the open division and were honored to receive two awards. 18137 received a 2nd Place Research Award and 4212 received a 1st Place Core Values Award.
January 4, 2017 FIRST LEGO League Demo day at NREC. Our three FLL teams, The Green Gears FLL 18137, CM Blues FLL 2641, and Dot Dot Dot FLL 4212 presented their research projects, Core Values presentation, and demonstrated their robots for families and friends.
December 21, 2016 – Repair the World EduCrew Meeting was held at Assemble. After speaking about our experiences as members of the Girls of Steel and in school, we offered participants a chance to check out the robot kit and drive the chassis project robot. To learn more about Repair the World, check out their Facebook page.
December 14, 2016 – Learning Party at Assemble – We brought the chassis project to Assemble’s Sensors Learning Party . The students had a chance to operate the previously assembled robot chassis and/or they were offered the tools to assemble the kit. We always have a great experience at Assemble.
December 1, 2016 – Demos of FTC and FRC robots at the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy’s STEM Festival.
December 1, 2016 – Demos of FTC and FRC robots at the Junior Achievement Inspire Career Fair at the Monroeville Convention Center.
November 27, 2016 – The first of several gift wrapping dates at Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront. We also hosted demos of LittleBits and LEGOs in the Children’s Department of the bookstore.
October 30, 2016 – We hosted the FTC Drive It! workshop at the CMU/Girls of Steel Practice Field at NREC.
October 29, 2016 – Girls of Steel hosted the Halloween Bash FLL Scrimmage at the CMU/Girls of Steel Practice Field at NREC.
October 15 and 16, 2016 – Girls of Steel participated at the Pittsburgh Maker Faire with other FRC teams at the SRCA booth. They demoed Byte, helped kids make buttons, and assisted FRC 3260 with the box robot crafts.
October 13, 2016 – Girls of Steel hosted a demo of the chassis project at the first ever White House Frontiers Conference. The conference was held at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
September 17, 2016 – Introductions about FIRST Robotics and the Girls of Steel at Pittsburgh’s Rec2Tech Demo Party at Schenley Plaza.
September 8, 2016 – Chassis Workshop for STEM Girlz held at Propel Homestead.
August 27, 2016 – Girls of Steel FIRST LEGO League teams 2641, 4212, 18137 started their weekly meetings. Teams meet at NREC every Saturday from 12 to 4 pm. The teams will compete in scrimmages in October and December as well as at the Regional Championship competition in January.
August 5-9, 2016 – FIRST LEGO League Skills Camp for 25 students entering 4th to 8th grade. Camp was held at the CMU/Girls of Steel Robotics practice field located at NREC.
July 31, 2016 – Demonstration and presentation at Robotics & Remote Systems Division of the American Nuclear Society conference held in the Sheraton Station Square hotel.
July 25 – August 6, 2016 – Robotics Feiyue Summer Camp for 32 students from China held at Carnegie Mellon University. This year the students designed and built a robot to compete in FIRST Stronghold at the WVROX off-season competition hosted by MARS FRC 2614 at West Virginia University.
July 19, 2016 – Presentation about FIRST and Girls of Steel plus a robot demo for rising 9th graders enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh’s “Investing Now” program.
July 14, 2016 – We were guest speakers at a coding camp at Winchester Thurston for middle school girls.
July 5-7, 2016 Summer Camp – Introduction to FTC Robotics with 14 middle school girls from Propel Schools in Pittsburgh. The girls were divided into 4 groups and learned to build and operate the FTC kit bot “Push Bot.”
June 30, 2016 – We were guest speakers at a coding camp at Winchester Thurston for middle school girls.
June 12, 2016 – Robot building, assembling Snap Circuits, making buttons, problem solving and coding with Digital Dream Labs’ Puzzlets, and playing with LEGOs were among the activities we hosted in the Remake Learning Tent in the Giant Eagle Creativity Zone at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.
June 11, 2016 – Presentation, tour, and robot demo for high school students visiting CMU from Chicago, IL.
May 26, 2016 – FLL Jr Demo Day was held at the practice field at NREC. Students from all 4 teams presented their “Show Me” posters and LEGO models to their families and friends. Each team chose a piece of trash and researched the ways the trash could be processed. ZoZo Mindblowing Bananas, FLL Jr team 7397, from Avonworth Primary Center presented their poster and model about recycling clothing. The Couch Crushers, FLL Jr team 7398, from Environmental Charter School presented their poster and model about how couches are “crushed.” The Trash LEGOs, FLL Jr team 3813, from Winchester Thurston’s North Campus presented their poster and model about recycling and reusing egg cartons. The Greek Goddesses, FLL Jr team 2397, from Winchester Thurston’s City Campus presented their poster and model about banana peels.
May 20, 2016 – We held our first “Aspiring Young Women in Robotics and STEM Symposium” at CMU for 71 middle school girls from the Pittsburgh area and as far away as Lewisburg PA in Union County. Special guest speakers were: Howie Choset, PhD, CMU; Sarjoun Skaff, PhD, Bossa Nova Robotics and Jodi Forlizzi, PhD, CMU; Jared Rosenthal, 4moms. We also held 3 workshops: “Hand Tools” presented by Girls of Steel students and mentors, “Hummingbird Robotics Kits” presented by Birdbrain Technologies, and “mamaRoo dissection” presented by 4moms.
May 14, 2016 – American Association of University Women North Hills Pittsburgh Branch hosted Tech Savvy at La Roche College, an all-day event for middle school girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We presented our Girls of Steel pipeline during two sessions with demos of FRC, FTC, and FLL robots.
May 10, 2016 – Junior Achievement Career Fair. We did a robot demo for hundreds of 5th graders and high school students from the Pittsburgh area.
April 20, 2016 – After receiving the 2016 American Association of University Women (AAUW) “Gateway to Equity Award” from the North Hills Pittsburgh Branch we did a presentation about Girls of Steel for the members of the branch.
April 16, 2016 – Fifth Annual Post-Season Scrimmage co-hosted with FRC 3260 SHARP. Members of 8 FRC teams attended: FRC 117, FRC 1708, FRC 2656, FRC 3260, FRC 3504, FRC 4150, FRC 4467, and FRC 5740.
April 15, 2016 – Robot demo at the National Robotics Week Open House at CMU.
April 11, 2016 – Girls of Steel presentation and robot demo at CMU’S Tech Nights Open House.
April 6, 2016 – Girls of Steel meet presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at CMU and demo their 2016 robot, Byte.
April 4, 2016 – Today we kicked off the Girls of Steel FLL Junior program at 3 Pittsburgh area schools: Avonworth Primary Center, Winchester Thurston, and Winchester Thurston North. A total of 18 girls are enrolled, 6 at each school. There will be a team at a 4th school, Environmental Charter School, starting on April 19th.
March 19, 2016 – Mikayla, Corinne, Kristina, and Jean Marie led the chassis building workshop for 7 students in the Gelfand Saturday Class called “Intro to Mobile Robotics”. They learned about safety and tools, and then assembled and tested the 6-wheel-drop kit bot chassis.
February 26, 2016 – Alex, Clarisa, Eden, Gigi, Madelyn, and Natalie represented the Girls of Steel at the National Engineers Week demo at Westinghouse headquarters in Cranberry, PA. The demoed Atlas and talked to lots of people about FIRST and Girls of Steel. People stopped by for a chance to drive and play catch with Atlas.
February 23, 2016 – Alex, Cheyenne, Hope, Melissa, and Sydney represented the Girls of Steel at the Student Showcase at 2016 PETE&C in Hershey, PA. They demoed Atlas, the 2o14 robot, and Dori, the 2016 FTC robot, for other students and conference participants. They also appeared on the PETE&C live stream. Their post-trip comments included, “It was so great to see all of the people and children interested in our robots.” and ” We visited the exhibitors and I loved looking at what other innovations to science and technology have been made.”
February 17, 2016 – Cub Scouts from Pack 600 in Bethel Park visited Girls of Steel at the practice field at NREC during a drive team meeting. They learned about the 2016 game, Stronghold, and had a chance to explore the field set up – crawling under the low bar and crossing over the ramparts, and peeking through the low goals. Plus they took turns driving our outreach robot, Atlas.
February 14, 2016 – Girls of Steel junior members FTC team 9820 second competition: I Heart Robotics Qualifier Tournament at Emmaus High School in Emmaus PA. They finished 13th of 23 teams.
January 23, 2016 – Skype call with rookie FRC team 5871 The Chickadees from Boise Idaho.
January 16, 2016 – Girls of Steel junior members of FTC team 9820 had their first competition: Pittsburgh Area FTC Qualifier Tournament at Shady Side Academy. They decided to register for a 2nd qualifying competition, coming up on February 14, 2016.
January 10, 2016 – FTC team 7143, Fluid Fusion, visited CMU to practice at the FTC Res-Q practice field with the Girls of Steel juniors.
January 9, 2016 – The Girls of Steel FLL teams 2641, 4212, and 18137 competed at the Western PA Championship Competition at La Roche College. Unfortunately this was the same day as FRC kickoff, so some of the girls missed the kickoff event, watching the events online using their cellphones.
December 19, 2015 – End of Preseason Project mock competition with FRC teams 3260 and 117, along with robot demos by the Girls of Steel FTC and FLL teams for our guests at the Holiday Open House.
December 12, 2015 – We helped the Girls of Steel junior members of FTC team 9820 at their first scrimmage: Pittsburgh Area FTC Scrimmage at Peters Township Middle School.
December 12, 2015 – We helped the Girls of Steel FLL teams 2641, 4212, and 18137 at their competitive scrimmage at Sci Tech Academy.
December 4, 6, 11, 18, 20, 21, & 23, 2015 – Girls of Steel volunteered at the Waterfront Barnes & Noble gift-wrapping station. We wrapped lots of cool gifts and talked about Girls of Steel and FIRST with dozens of people.
November 29, 2015 – Girls of Steel volunteered at the Waterfront Barnes & Noble for their first gift-wrapping session of the season. We displayed books and toys that we share at various outreach events. For example: Rosie Revere Engineer, Snap Circuits and Little Bits.
November 22, 2015 – Girls of Steel hosted a Chassis Building Workshop at the IU1 Fab Lab in Grindstone, PA, Fayette County. 10 middle school girls joined us to learn how to assemble a robot chassis and drive it.
November 13, 2015 – Girls of Steel welcomed members of FRC team 1816 The Green Machine for a tour of our new workspace. The Green Machine was in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon to make a presentation at the oSTEM conference.
November 8, 2015 – Barnes & Noble Mini Maker Faire Girls of Steel hosted the chassis building workshop at the Mini Maker Faire event at the Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront. Children stopped at our table to learn about FIRST, Girls of Steel, and assemble the drive train and electronics on the chassis. After assembling the robot there was a little bit of time left to drive the robot before taking it apart for the next workshop.
October 31, 2015 – FIRST LEGO League educational scrimmage at the CMU/Girls of Steel Practice Field. We hosted a total of 11 teams (150 people) for the Halloween Scrimmage. It was a lot of fun to see all the kids in costumes testing and competing with their LEGO robots.
October 29, 2015 – Sci Tech Academy Fall Festival We hosted a demo of Ada, button making, balancing robots, etc. We weren’t able to drive Ada, but the participants still had lots of questions about how the robot was made and how it works.
October 11, 2015 – International Day of the Girl at the Union Project in Pittsburgh. Lots of local girls visited our table where we had activities such as the marshmallow tooth pick structure building activity and Snap Circuits. The other cool thing about the International Day of the Girl is that, thanks to one of our mentors, GoS was one of the sponsors and our logo is on their website and the DOTG t-shirt.
October 10 & 11, 2015 – Maker Faire Pittsburgh This was a two-day event with over 200 groups or vendors. We were part of the Pittsburgh FRC team booth with SHARP, Quasics, and FRobotics. We had a table where kids could decorate safety glasses to wear when driving Ada and make buttons, and each day there were robot demos. “The Pittsburgh Maker Faire was a refreshing blast of creativity. There were art and science activities as the primary interactive exhibits. Visitors had the opportunity to experience unique, innovative toys and ideas, and immerse themselves in a diverse environment.”
October 4, 2015 – “Girls Rock Science” at the Carnegie Science Center Girls of Steel hosted the chassis building workshop at the “Girls Rock Science” event. Children stopped at our table to learn about FIRST, Girls of Steel, and assemble the drive train and electronics on the chassis. We didn’t get to drive the robot due to space limitations, but the kids still had fun taking part in building a robot.
September 26 & 27, 2015 – Girls of Steel hosted Robot Petting Zoo Makeathon at the Practice Field. High school students worked from 10 to 5 on both Saturday and Sunday using Hummingbird robotics kits to create a variety of animals for the Robot Petting Zoo at Maker Faire Pittsburgh: triceratops, unicorn, bat, monkey, elephant, & dragon.
September 23, 2015 – Time Travel Learning Party at Assemble. Anne Kailin and Becca hosted a variety of STEM activities at the Learning Party.
September 20, 2015 – Chassis Building Workshop at CalU Center for Innovation at Southpointe in Canonsburg. PA. Four girls from Washington, Fayette, and Greene Counties attended the Chassis Building Workshop. The girls learned about safety, tools, and robot sub systems while they assembled 2 kit bot chassis and drove them. They also learned tips and tricks for working with chain. Supported by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
August 29, 2015 – Girls of Steel FLL teams 2641, 4212, and 18137 held their first meeting of the Trash Trek season. Weekly meetings are held on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
August 10-14, 2015 – Girls of Steel FLL Skills camp for 24 students in grades 4 to 8 at CMU/Girls of Steel Practice Field. There were 24 campers, 1 junior mentor, Hannah, and 4 Girls of Steel mentors, Anna, Priya, Gayathri, and Vishi. It was a 9 am to 3 pm camp where campers learned EV3 programming using lessons from the Droids Robotics website, EV3Lessons.com. We also used the Droids’ robot design instructions for Droidbot. The camp was a lot of fun and even included an ice cream social and a camp dinner at the Spaghetti Warehouse.
August 8, 2015 – Back to School Bash and Maker Party at Arsenal Park Robot demo, chassis building, and button making at the Back to School Bash and Maker Party at Arsenal Park hosted by Lawrenceville United. Molly, Sree, Maddie, and Gigi ran a robot demo with Atlas and introduced kids to the chassis building project. Some of the kids learned how to make GoS buttons!
August 3-7, 2015 – Girls of Steel Introduction to FTC and Robotics Camp at CalU Center for Innovation at Southpointe, enrolling 18 girls from Washington, Fayette, and Greene Counties. There were 18 campers and 5 Girls of Steel mentors, Priya, Gayathri, Mhairi, Lauren, and Natalie. It was a 9 am to 3 pm camp where campers learned Snap Circuits and built robots using the FTC Tetrix robotics kits and Hummingbird robotics kits. We had an ice cream social and a visit from FTC team BrainSTEM. Supported by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
July 20-31, 2015 – Robotics Feiyue camp for 21 high school students from China.
July 18, 2015 – Girls of Steel at the AWISPittsburgh science event for children at the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library. Helen and Gayathri introduced preschoolers (and their parents) to Snap Circuits and engaged them in other STEM related activities. “Seeing the kids explore the kits with such curious mindsets was truly a rewarding experience. The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves, which made it lots of fun for the mentors!”
July 1, 2015 – Chassis building project and robot demo at Labs@CLP in Oakland.
June 24, 2015 – Chassis building project and robot demo at Labs@CLP in East Liberty.
June 20, 2015 – Girls of Steel on the Saturday Light Brigade radio show.
June 15-19, 2015 – Girls of Steel summer camp “Programming Your Future With Robotics”, a week-long camp enrolling 18 girls in grades 6 to 8 from the Pittsburgh area.
May 21, 2015 – Girls of Steel Appear on Essential Pittsburgh WESA radio 90.5
May 13, 2015 – Robots! A Learning Party at Assemble
May 11,2015 – PAECT Student Showcase at the Capitol Building
May 7, 2015 – Robot Demo for Students from Infinity Charter School visiting the Robotics Institute
Alpha Lab Gear’s National Robotics Week Event
April 9, 2015 – A demo of Atlas, our 2014 robot, for teachers, professionals, Mayor Peduto, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and the 15 middle school students from 5 Pittsburgh area schools who participated in the robotics relay challenge. The event was featured on KDKA.
Gwen’s Girls Visit CMU
March 19, 2015 – We hosted 11 little girls in grades 2 to 5 from Gwen’s Girls. They visited us at CMU where we offered a variety of different activities for our guests. These activities ranged from drawing what they believed a robot looked like to actually seeing and touching some of our robots. Moreover, we had stations set up in the high bay for the girls. The stations included constructing structures with toothpicks and marshmallows, Snap Circuits, creating a “mini bot” with one of our Hummingbird robotics kits, building with LEGO’s, playing with GoldieBlox toys, and making buttons. At the end of the night, each girl received her very own Girls of Steel button and a polka-dot bandana ribbon.
Girls of Steel at Westinghouse for National Engineer’s Week
February 27, 2015 – During National Engineer’s Week we took Atlas, our 2014 robot, to the Westinghouse branch in Cranberry PA for a demonstration. It was an open demonstration held in the employee café from 11 am to 1 pm. Westinghouse employees stopped by on their lunch break to learn about our team, watch the slideshow and robot demo, and even had a chance to drive the robot themselves! There were five Girls of Steel who attended the event. The Westinghouse employees were extremely impressed and we received a lot of compliments.
Girls of Steel Jr.FLL Teams Kick Off at Winchester Thurston
February 23, 2015 – We welcomed six 2nd grade girls and six 3rd grade girls on the 2 JrFLL teams. We sat down and played a name-game with the girls to get to know them better and it was really fun! Then we got them started on building unique LEGO people. Before we knew it, the meeting time was over. Meetings take place on Mondays and Thursdays through April 16th – except for March 5th (Greater Pittsburgh Regional) and during Winchester’s spring break, March 14 – March 29.
Carnegie Mellon University’s SWE Carnival
February 22, 2015 – We took our 2014 robot, Atlas, to the SWE Carnival and demoed it for an audience of dozens of children. They all had lots of fun driving Atlas and experimenting with the activities we set up including LEGOs, GoldieBlox, and the marshmallow-toothpick building challenge. Many other tables were set up with interesting projects such as a rocket launch and a voice-activated chessboard.
2015 PETE&C in Hershey, PA
February 10, 2015 – PETE&C or Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference is an annual event in Hershey, PA. There are many exhibitors and guest speakers at the event along with a student showcase. Students and their advisors apply to participate at the showcase of the various ways technology is used in the classroom or in afterchool programs. We presented our robot and team at an information table with some fun activities. Participants young and old stopped by to see our robot and what our team had to offer the world of STEM education. Many other tables had activities and information about their own organizations running simultaneously. This made the whole place lively and interesting for the audience of participants, who all had a lot of fun.
Tinker Meet at The Ellis School
January 24, 2015 – At this meet up, all of the local Tinker Squad teams got together and shared their final projects. Everyone there had a great time seeing all of the teams and their creations. We also got to listen to some fantastic guest speakers and we also demoed our FRC robot, Atlas, and hosted an information table about Girls of Steel and FIRST.
FLL Demo Day and Final Competition
January 14 and 17, 2015 – At the FLL Demo day, our teams presented their research projects to their families. There was time for questions, showing off their creations, showing the families how an FLL meeting would play out, and a celebratory cake for a successful season! The FLL Final Competition was held at La Roche College where the teams got to show the judges what they’ve been working on. They presented each of their research projects, competed with their autonomous robots, and demonstrated their understanding of the FLL Core Values. Everyone had a lot of fun competing in all three categories and seeing what all of the other FLL teams had to show. We were proud that FLL team #4212, First LEGO Legends, received a 1st Place Core Values award for Gracious Professionalism.
Oakland Catholic High School President visits Girls of Steel
December 16, 2014 – The Oakland Catholic president, Mary Claire Kasunic, came to visit our high bay to learn what FIRST robotics is all about. Being the new president of Oakland Catholic, she wants to expand on the extracurriculars available at Oakland, specifically programs that integrate STEM. She seemed very intrigued with the whole idea of robotics and mentioned promoting Girls of Steel within the Oakland Catholic community as well as potentially starting a robotics team at Oakland Catholic. It was great to get to meet her and see how excited she was to get to see the high bay. She really got to know who the Girls of Steel are and what we do.
Gift Wrapping at Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront
December 7,12,14,21,22, & 23, 2014 – Girls of Steel volunteered to work several shifts to staff the gift wrapping table at the local Barnes & Noble at the Waterfront in Pittsburgh. They met many shoppers who stopped by for gift wrapping and to learn more about FIRST.
Girls of Steel attend Manufacturer of the Year Awards Reception
December 4, 2014 – Girls of Steel joined Patricia DePra, Ph.D., FIRST Regional Director, at the 2014 Manufacturer of the Year Awards reception at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Approximately 300 guests attended the reception which preceded the awards dinner. Corinne, Helen, and Tristan met lots of people who were curious about robotics in Pittsburgh and they demonstrated their robot, Atlas, for them.
Gwen’s Girls visit Girls of Steel at CMU
December 3, 2014 – Three little girls from Gwen’s Girls visited us at CMU. We hosted several stations with activities for the 4th and 5th graders. They enjoyed learning how to create a “mini bot” with a servo and LED lights using the Hummingbird robotics kit, building circuits using Snap Circuits, building the “tallest” marshmallow and toothpick structure, playing with LEGOs, decorating safety glasses, and driving one of our robots. When asked if they wanted to get ice cream or drive the robot, they all said, “Drive the robot!”
SCRA FRC Workshops
November 23, 2014- We hosted the SCRA (Steel City Robotics Alliance) FRC Workshops at Carnegie Mellon. There were four sessions, each with 5-6 workshops, presented by various teams, mentors, judges and students, that attendees were able to choose from. We gave several workshops: Fundraising 101, Beta-Testing Results and Building a Pipeline for Girls in FRC. Thanks to the following FRC teams 1708, 1743, 2051, 2656, 3260, 3955, 4031, 4150, 4467, 5740 and everyone else who participated, SCRA Workshops was a successful event! We also hosted a Food Drive to collect non-perishable food items for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank!
November 15, 2014- SWATposium 2014 hosted by FRC 771 SWAT at St. Mildred’s Lightbourne School in Oakville, Ontario. Sylvie, Sonia, Arushi, and Anne Kailin represented Girls of Steel at the event where they presented “Building a Pipeline for Girls in FRC.” Resources and the presentation are available here.
SciTech Fall Festival
October 22, 2014 – The Girls of Steel hosted a booth at the Sci Tech Fall Festival where we had a robot demo, and other pre-engineering activities. Included were marshmallow towers, balancing robots, and Goldiblox. Many younger children who came enjoyed the smaller activities, and people of all ages enjoyed driving the robot. We also got a chance to talk to people about our team and what we do. We handed out flyers for FLL, and got several people who were interested to sign up for our newsletter.
International Day of the Girl Pittsburgh
October 11, 2014 – Girls of Steel hosted a table at the Day of the Girl Pittsburgh Celebration at the East End Cooperative Ministry’s Community Room. We witnessed a proclamation presented by a City Council member and met people from other girl-serving organizations in our area – Gwen’s Girls, PROGRESS, Girls on the Run, and more. The girls who attended had a lot of fun building tall structures made from marshmallows and toothpicks, completing a NASA word search, or just talking to us – girls who build robots.
FIRST LEGO League Core Values Inter team meeting
September 27, 2014 – Area FLL teams were invited to attend the Core Values inter team meeting to do activities designed by FLL team 51, Not The Droids You Are Looking For and Girls of Steel. Four FLL teams participated at the event including the Droids, Girls of Steel FLL teams 2641 and 4212, and Tsunami Sphinxes FLL 4481. Thank you, Droids, for another fun event! See the Droids’ Core Values video here.
“Meet and Greet” with a mentor from FRC 4091
September 25, 2014 – Mr. David Richie, a mentor of Team Drift, FRC 4091, in the Dominican Republic met with us and our Regional Director, Patricia DePra, at the CMU/Girls of Steel Regional Practice Field.
Girls of Steel and The Tepper School
September 24, 2014 – At the request of The Tepper School of Executive Business Education, Girls of Steel mentored thirty global executives and taught them how to build a robot kit chassis. A mini driving competition was held at the end the event. Comments from Tepper’s client: “Girls of Steel were very inspiring.” and “Our team really enjoyed the exercise and the girls were terrific in supporting everyone to complete the exercise.”
Girls of Steel at Google: Presentation for the Google Women’s Group
September 10, 2014- Girls of Steel were invited to give a presentation for members of Google’s Women’s Group and afterwards they went on a tour of Google.
Girls of Steel Co-host FLL Kickoff Event with Not the Droids You are Looking For FLL #51
September 6, 2014 -Area FLL teams were invited to attend the first ever FLL kickoff event in Pittsburgh. Eight teams attended, including the Droids, Girls of Steel teams 2641 and 4212, and 230, 4395, 7033, 7974, & 8698. We reviewed the missions for the 2014 challenge, World Class, and talked about strategies, rules, and ideas to help all teams, especially rookie teams. Thank you, Droids! It was a lot of fun! We are looking forward to the next inter-team event about Core Values.
Girls of Steel Open House
August 24, 2014 – We welcomed about 100 guests at our 3rd Open House where we demonstrated our 2014 robot, Atlas, and had tables of activities and information about the team. And food, too! Other FIRST teams were there, too. Students from FLL teams Foxes’ Fury and Replasm shared their robots and excitement about FLL, and FTC team, Fourth River Robotics, presented activities for our guests.
Girls of Steel FLL Teams
August 23, 2014 – Today was the first meeting at the practice field for the Girls of Steel FLL teams. We welcomed 19 students and their parents. Meetings will be held every Saturday from 12 to 4 pm and on Mondays (starting 9/29/14) from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Girls of Steel FLL Summer Camp
August 11-15, 2014- Our 5-day camp was a lot of fun! 14 kids from all around Pittsburgh joined Girls of Steel and FLL team 51, Not the Droids You Are Looking For (AKA Droids), to present FLL activities such as LEGO robot building, EV3 programming, and research. Camp was held at the CMU/Girls of Steel practice field so the campers also enjoyed playing on the Aerial Assist field. Camp ended with a demo day and tour at Astrobotic Technologies (our neighbor).
Robot Demonstration at Ansaldo-STS
August 4, 2014- We were invited to present a robot demonstration at Ansaldo-STS in Pittsburgh. We set up several tables to share what we do – build robots, compete, and more. After the demos, we had an inspiring tour of Ansaldo-STS, a company that makes train control and signal systems. We also had lunch with one of the company’s female engineers. It was a lot more than a robot demo!
Girls of Steel FLL at Girls Bridging Communities’ “Looking Forward Day”
August 1, 2014 – Annika presented a hands-on activity using her FLL team’s EV3 robot to introduce the elementary aged girls to Mindstorms programming.
July 21-August 1, 2014 – Girls of Steel worked as TAs for the two-week Feiyue camp for 14 high school students from China. We helped the teams of students as they designed and built Arduino robots for the capstone competition at the end of camp. Girls of Steel also hosted an ice cream social and picnic/barbecue for the students.
Girls of Steel and STEM Girlz
July 11- 18, 2014 – Girls of Steel collaborated with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and won a mini-grant from the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP). We worked with middle school girls from Propel Schools at the two-week long STEM Girlz day camp. The program included a guest speaker who presented an activity about process engineering, field trips to meet STEM role models at 4moms, National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), and Carnegie Mellon University, building robots using the Hummingbird robotics kits, and field trips to Carnegie Science Center and Kennywood.
Girls of Steel at Mission:STARTup Something with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh
June 28, 2014 – Girls of Steel presented a robot demonstration at the end of the year celebration event for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. Bigs and Littles stopped by our table to learn more about FIRST robotics and to accomplish their mission of driving Atlas.
Girls of Steel at the Interactive Forum at the PA STEM Vision Conference
May 9, 2014 – The Girls of Steel hosted a table and demonstrated their robot, Atlas, at the Interactive Forum at the PA STEM Vision Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. They met hundreds of people from schools and businesses in the Pittsburgh area who are interested in improving the level of participation in STEM fields. Governor Corbett was the opening speaker at the conference.
“Meet and Greet” to welcome students from Israel
May 8, 2014 – We hosted a “Meet and Greet” event at the practice field where we welcomed 4 students from Israel, their teacher, their local hosts, and students and mentors from FRC 2641 and FRC 4150. Our guests each made a short presentation about their different robots. There was an FLL Robot demo, videos about the FRC 1574 robot, a demo of a robot that sensed traffic lights, and a demo of a robot that was able to sense and extinguish a candle. It was a lot of fun.
Atlas went to ASSEMBLE
May 7, 2014 – Atlas was demonstrated at the Robots! A Learning Party at ASSEMBLE. Atlas was just one of several exhibits at the Learning Party. The kids had a great time at the event. They learned to operate the collector arm on Atlas and learned to use the Snap Circuits kit, and more.
Girls of Steel Travel to the PAECT 2014 Student Showcase in Harrisburg
May 5, 2014 – The Girls of Steel hosted a table and demonstrated Atlas as exhibitors at the PAECT 2014 Student Showcase in Harrisburg at the East Wing of the Capitol Building. They met hundreds of students who attended as presenters or visitors. Comments from Girls of Steel include, “I got to meet so many interesting people with great ideas and questions. I felt so confident about what I was doing and I was very happy to spread all the great ideas that FIRST has to offer.”, “It was an amazing opportunity for our team to reach a different audience – from congressmen to educators to other students.“, and “If I could summarize this trip in one word, it would be “inspiring”. ” Travel was supported in part by a grant from The Sprout Fund.
Pittsburgh’s Mayor visits the CMU/Girls of Steel Practice Field
April 30, 2014 – Mayor Bill Peduto met students from some of the city’s FIRST teams – FRC 3260, FRC 2641, and FTC 3900.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Women@SCS TechNights
April 21, 2014 – The TechNights Open House was held from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Girls of Steel did a presentation which was followed by a robot demo and tour of the workspace in Newell Simon Hall for about 24 middle school girls and their families.
CMITES Workshop “Introduction to Mobile Robotics”
April 12, 2014 – Girls of Steel taught a group of girls in grades 7 to 9 how to assemble and drive a kit bot chassis. This project was funded by a grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Scrimmage at the CMU/Girls of Steel Practice Field
This year we co-hosted the third annual Pittsburgh scrimmage with FRC 3260 SHARP. Guests included friends from teams 3955, 4150, 4991 and 1708. See photo on the Practice Field page.
National Robotics Week Event at Carnegie Mellon University
April 6-11, 2014 – National Robotics Week 2014 was celebrated at CMU’s Robotics Institute on April 11th with tours and demonstrations. Girls of Steel hosted a table with their practice robot, Atlas, and met several CMU alumni (in town for the 100th Carnival) and others interested in robots.
National Robotics Week Event at Alpha Lab Gear
April 6-11, 2014 – National Robotics Week 2014 was celebrated at Alpha Lab Gear on April 9th with several noted speakers as well as several demonstrations – including a demonstration of Atlas (practice robot).
CMU Robotics Institute Tour Guides
Girls of Steel guided the students from FRC 3410 LIFE when they stopped in a the Robotics Institute for tours of various labs on their way to compete at the Greater Pittsburgh Regional Competition.
Bring a Smile to the Service
Girls of Steel continue their letter writing campaign to people in the service through Grace’s “Bring a Smile to the Service” organization. They wrote 40 letters at a recent meeting.
Volunteers at the Buckeye Regional Competition
Girls of Steel volunteered as Field Reset assistant, Safety Glasses Table assistant, and Master of Ceremonies Assistant.
Saturday Light Brigade
The Girls had an opportunity to be on a local radio show, called the Saturday Light Brigade. Molly, Lynn, and Gigi went on air and talked about our team, FIRST, and the upcoming Greater Pittsburgh Regional Competition.
FLL Research Symposium
Girls of Steel invited FLL teams – including our teams Foxes’ Fury and Replasm – to showcase their research projects for other FLL students, their coaches, and families. It was a fun, non-competitive event. Not the Droids Your Were Looking For and the Tsunami Sphinxes also participated.
FLL Grand Championship
Foxes’ Fury competed at the FLL Grand Championship competition held at Carnegie Robotics. They received the 2nd Place Research Award! Clarisa represented Girls of Steel as a volunteer at the event.
National Engineers Week – Westinghouse
Girls of Steel held a robot demonstration as part of the National Engineers Week celebration at Westinghouse, one of our sponsors.
Society of Women Engineers “Engineering Carnival”
Girls of Steel hosted a table of activities at the Society of Women Engineers “Engineering Carnival” for local children.
Week Zero at the CMU/Girls of Steel Practice Field The following teams were represented at the Week Zero event: 3954, 3260, 2656, 4150, and 3504. Teams got a lot of practice, worked on their robots, held some matches, had fun, and did some scouting.
Three Girls of Steel attended the Student Showcase at the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference (PETE&C) in Hershey, PA. “I really enjoyed the PETE&C event! It was awesome to see all the businesses that have made a living out of something I am so passionate about. What made the event that much better was seeing the innovative ideas of students from preschool all the way to high school.” ~Grace B.
Bring a Smile to the Service
To support the MLK Day of Service several girls on the team got together before the meeting to write letters to people in the service through Grace’s “Bring a Smile to the Service” organization.
Four members of the Girls of Steel FLL teams volunteered as set up crew for the regional FTC competition at Shady Side Academy.
Saturday Light Brigade
The Girls had an opportunity to be on a local radio show, called the Saturday Light Brigade. Molly, Lynn, Clarisa, and Gigi went on air and talked about our team, build season, and FIRST.
FLL teams Replasm and Foxes Fury want to get a patent for their research project. Therefore, the teams met with a guest speaker from CMU’s Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC) who explained a lot about the inventions and patent procedures and restrictions.
Kick-off is one of the most exciting days of the year and what better way is there to celebrate than volunteering at the Kick-Off event? 11 Girls of Steel volunteered at the event by setting up signage in the workshop rooms and helping as needed.
Saturday Light Brigade
The Girls had an opportunity to be on a local radio show, called the Saturday Light Brigade. Molly, Lynn, and Clarisa went on air and talked about our team, kickoff, and FIRST and afterwards they gave a robot demo (at the Children’s Museum). This was a great way to increase our presence in our community.
Barnes and Noble Gift Wrapping
The Girls of Steel celebrated the holiday season by volunteering to host a gift wrapping table at Barnes and Noble in Homestead, PA.
All of Us Care Volunteers of America
The Girls of Steel did a robot demo for the All of Us Care Volunteers of America after- school program. We had Goldie Blocks and a electronics circuit activity and there were a lot of enthusiastic kids who drove the robot as they learned about FIRST and how they could get involved. “This was definitely one of my favorite outreach events. When I was helping her with a electronics circuit activity, one girl said to me, ‘I want to be just like you when I am older,’ It is during moments like that when all the hard work we put in on the team is suddenly worth it”~Simran.
The Girls of Steel collected non-perishable food items and then assembled them into “grab and go” bags filled with goodies like Capri-Suns, granola bars, and Rice Krispies treat. Several girls attended this event and we ended up making 50 bags!
Girls on the Run
The Girls of Steel were invited to be a part of the Girls on the Run Pre-race expo along with other organizations promoting female empowerment. The attendees were able to play with GoldieBlox, Snap Circuits, and participate in a bridge building activity.
Saturday was competition day for our FLL teams, Replasm and Foxes’ Fury. It was a crazy day from doing our research presentations to having snowball fights to trying to make it in time for our robot round, but it was definitely worth it. The best part was getting to see the culmination of the students’ work since August. Replasm got third place in Research! Foxes’ Fury got second place in Research and an honorable mention in Programming! The Girls of Steel were also recognized with the Youth Mentor Award!
FLL Demo Day
Our First Lego League teams, Replasm and Foxes’ Fury, had a Demo Day at the local library to present their research presentations and demonstrate their robots. Before the event, we had a pizza party and lots of dessert to celebrate the many accomplishments of both teams!
Steel City Robotics Alliance Conference
The Girls of Steel presented two workshops at the Steel City Robotics Alliance Conference. One was about Team Culture and the other was about Fundraising. There was time for a question and answer session to promote the exchange of ideas.
Carnegie Institute of Technology’s Annual Children’s Food Drive
The Girls of Steel brought in packaged, nonperishable food items to donate to the Annual Children’s Food Drive at Carnegie institute of Technology. Together we collected 175 items, in addition to the items that we are donating to Carnegie Mellon University’s campus-wide food drive.
The Girls of Steel got the opportunity to travel out of the country. One of our favorite FIRST teams, #771, hosts a robotics conference every year. The SWATposium is always a great event and this is the third year that we have travelled to Oakville Ontario (near Toronto) to present a workshop. On the way home, we stopped at Niagara Falls for some sightseeing!
International Day of The Girl
The Girls of Steel celebrated the United Nations International Day of the Girl at a local event with other organizations dedicated to female empowerment. We did an engineering activity, building structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks.
Field Robotics Center’s 30th Anniversary
This year, the Field Robotics Center at CMU celebrated their 30th anniversary! The Girls of Steel were invited to be a part of the event by demonstrating Watson and Eve, their 2012 and 2013 robots.
Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy Fall Festival
There were smiles on young kids faces as they came to drive Eve at the Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy Fall Festival. The Girls of Steel were invited to be a part of the showcase of science and technology. “This was a really fun outreach event. We got to meet kids of all ages and were able to talk to a lot of them about FIRST. It was really cool to see all the small kids driving the robot.” ~Katie.
Girls of Steel FLL
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Girls of Steel have been mentoring their 2 FLL teams in Fox Chapel at the Cooper-Siegel Community Library. “It’s really rewarding to work with middle schoolers and to help them improve their robots,” says Simran. They competed at a regional scrimmage at Shady Side Academy on October 26th.
The Children’s Museum’s Mini Maker Faire
The Girls of Steel made an appearance at the Mini Maker Faire held at the Children’s Museum. We handed out flyers to those that were interested and demonstrated Eve, the Frisbee-throwing robot. Children decorated safety glasses and were allowed to drive the robot.
St. Ursula’s FLL Team
The Girls of Steel volunteered at a two-day summer camp to help the kids at St. Ursula’s with their FLL team.
The Girls of Steel hosted an open house to allow new people to see what we’re all about. We, along with team 1708, gave robot demonstrations. There were different stations for each sub team. We also had a marshmallow and toothpick structure construction contest. All of our sub teams, including media, outreach, and finance, gave informational presentations. Over 150 people total were able to attend.
Girls Bridging Communities
Two NGCP (National Girls Collaborative Project) programs – Girls Bridging Communities and Girls of Steel FIRST Robotics were awarded a mini- grant to collaborate to teach LEGO Robotics to local low-income girls. The camp will be held at The Ellis School.
Over the summer, the Girls of Steel helped run, mentor, and organize a summer camp called Feiyue. Feiyue was a two-week program in which 21 students from all regions of China came to live in the dorms of Carnegie Mellon University. During these two weeks, the students learned and built Arduino robots, which competed in a capstone competition at the end of the camp. They also went on many sightseeing excursions including trips to Falling Waters, the mall, a movie in a park, and a picnic (where they all ate their first campfire S’mores!).
June 24-28, 2013 – A Girls of Steel team member assists at a LEGO Robotics summer camp at The Ellis School
May 11, 2013 – Girls of Steel showcased their robot, EVE, at the Boyd Community Center’s GardenFest event. We were invited by the Fox Chapel Area AAUW.
May 8, 2013 – Girls of Steel presented a robot demo at ASSEMBLE’s Robot Learning Party.
April 22, 2013 – the Girls of Steel made a presentation at CMU’s Women@SCS TechNights (Creative Technology Nights) program for middle school aged girls and gave a tour of the highbay and demonstrated their robots.
March 2, 2013 – Carnegie Science Center’s Tour Your Future visited the Girls of Steel at Carnegie Mellon University. 4th and 6th grade girls attended. Demos and hands-on activities were part of tour. The girls were introduced to computer programming with a tic-tac-toe game, and they experienced using the band saw and mill, soldering, and then driving Watson, the 2012 robot.
March 19&28, 2013 – Girls of Steel gave a talk at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The audience was made up of twenty 70 to 90 year old participants in The LIFE Study. The presentation began with an introduction to FIRST Robotics and Girls of Steel and ended with slides about robots as companions for the elderly as well the roles of robots in health care areas such as pharmacy and surgery. The audience really enjoyed the video of HERB and the Oreos.
March 20, 2013 – Girls of Steel spent the day at Chartiers Valley Intermediate School to present a Science in the Classroom program to the 4th and 5th graders. Two classes at a time settled in their seats in the auditorium for a 30-minute presentation about FIRST Robotics, Girls of Steel and STEM. The sessions included questions and answers, a video of Watson in a competition, and a demo of Watson with students taking turns rolling basketballs to the feeder, shooting, and catching. A total of 20 groups of 4th and 5th graders or about 500 students attended the sessions.
February 16, 2013 – Week Zero Event. Nine FRC teams participated: 3504, 1708, 306, 3260, 4150, 4467, 4032, 2641, and 2656. About 150 people attended.
February 23, 2013 – Girl Scouts Troop #53091 visited the Girls of Steel at Carnegie Mellon University. They were introduced to FIRST robotics, played a game of tic-tac-toe with a computer, toured the machine shop, and took turns driving Watson.
February 28, 2013 – Eleven girls from Yeshiva School visited the Regional FRC Practice Field for a tour and a presentation about FIRST robotics and Girls of Steel.
January 3, 2013 – Girls of Steel worked with Aubrey Schick and the Romibo Project team to assemble and test Romibo robots. http://www.romibo.org/
January 5, 2013 – FRC Kick-off Day Girls of Steel, FRC team 3504 and FRobotics, FRC team 4150 collaborated to provide breakfast snacks and lunch at the FRC kick-off event held at Carnegie Mellon University on January 5th.
January 24, 2013 – Girls of Steel Mentor presented a talk – “Building Robots: Building Futures”- about FIRST robotics and using Arts & Bots robotics kits at The Ellis School to the Greentree Rotary Club in Greentree, PA.
December 1,8 & 18, 2012 – Girls of Steel worked with Aubrey Schick and the Romibo Project team to assemble and test Romibo robots. http://www.romibo.org/
December 23, 2012 – Girls of Steel, in association with Fox Chapel Area AAUW, volunteered at Barnes and Noble at the Waterworks to wrap gifts.
November 10, 2012 – Members of the Girls of Steel FRC Team 3504 presented three workshops at the Steel City Robotics Alliance Workshops held at The Ellis School. Titles of the presentations were: “ FIRST: The Key to Young Women Exploring STEM”, “Fundraising 101”, and “Mentor Tips and Recruiting Girls to FRC Teams.” Slides and videos are available here: http://www.steelcityrobotics.org/resources/2012-workshop-presentations
November 19, 2012 – Girls of Steel presented a talk about FIRST and Girls of Steel as well as a demo of Watson to the Holy Sepulcher FLL Robotics Club. We inspired the only girl (among many boys) to continue striving to achieve her goals in robotics! Parents, students, and teachers attended.
Robot Hall of Fame
October 23, 2012 – Girls of Steel participated at the Robot Hall of Fame ® induction ceremony held at the Carnegie Science Center. Girls acted as ushers and presenters for the Robot Hall of Fame inductees – one of these including WALL-E from the popular Disney film. http://www.robothalloffame.org/news.html
October 26, 2012 – Four Girls of Steel and two mentors traveled to Oakville, Ontario, Canada to present a workshop at the FRC team 771 SWAT Symposium on October 27th. The title of the talk was “ FIRST: The Key to Young Women Exploring STEM.”
Pittsburgh Mini-maker Faire
September 22, 2012 – Girls of Steel FRC team 3504 represented FIRST Robotics in Pittsburgh with FRC team 3062 at the Pittsburgh Mini-maker Faire. Girls of Steel demonstrated Watson while lots of children held their arms high to catch a ball. They also hosted a craft activity where children decorated safety glasses to wear while driving the robot. Kristen, a kid maker from “The Make Shop Show” interviewed one of the Girls of Steel. Her video is available here.
August 19, 2012 – We kicked off our 2012-13 outreach season with the Explorer Series Event hosted by the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Foundation at the CONSOL energy center that drew over 300 kids! We performed a skit on the importance of safety in robotics, and held a number of demonstrations that educated children on the inner workings of a chassis, taught them the basics of programming, and much more.
Planet Parade Learning Party
July 11, 2012 – Girls of Steel hosted a table at Assemble’s Planet Parade Learning Party where children were encouraged to make sketches of their favorite robot. FIRST® materials were displayed.
June 18 – 22, 2012 – Girls of Steel team members ran a LEGO Robotics summer camp called “Robolympics” for 5th and 6th grade girls at The Ellis School.
Circuits and Contraptions Learning Party
May 9, 2012 – Girls of Steel hosted an electronics activity with batteries, wires, and light bulbs at Assemble’s Circuits and Contraptions Learning Party. FIRST materials and Girls of Steel posters were displayed.
April 2, 9, and 16, 2012 – Robo Club at CMU for boys and girls interested in LEGO robotics. The girls helped about 5 to 7 children each week.
April 21, 2012 – Robotics Scrimmage at the Catalyst Building Practice field for Pittsburgh area FRC teams including the FRC 2399 the Fighting Unicorns from Cleveland, OH whom Girls of Steel met at the Queen City Regional Competition.
April 30, 2012 – Girls of Steel appeared at Carnegie Mellon University’s Women@SCS TechNights (Creative Technology Nights) and gave a talk about FIRST and Girls of Steel to about 25 middle school girls and their parents.
AAUW Young Women’s Recognition Night
March 13, 2012 – Girls of Steel displayed a table with 2011 robot “Crush”, Girls of Steel posters, and FIRST materials. Two Girls of Steel were invited to participate on a panel of women in STEM fields for a group of about 30 middle school girls who were recognized by their teachers for their aspirations and aptitude for STEM.
February 18, 2012 – Week Zero Event at the Ellis Armory Robotics Practice Field. On the final Saturday before Bag and Tag last year, we hosted a “Week Zero” event for area FRC® teams to come and participate in a mock FIRST robotics competition complete with a FIRST official. The event served as valuable practice time for Pittsburgh teams, as well as sowing the seeds for the FIRST principles of coopertition and gracious professionalism®.
Regional Practice Field
Girls of Steel and Carnegie Mellon University provided an open Regional FRC® Practice Field for the 2012 FRC game Rebound Rumble from early January through April 21,2012. In general, the practice field was open on Thursdays from 5 pm to 8:30 pm and on Saturday s from 11 am to 3 pm. Teams were welcome to come to the field with or without their robot. Drinks and snacks were provided. A Week Zero event was held the weekend before bag & tag and an end-of –season scrimmage was held on April 21st.
January 25, 2012 – Girls of Steel Mentor presented a talk – “Building Robots: Building Futures”- about FIRST robotics and using Arts & Bots robotics kits at The Ellis School to the Fox Chapel Rotary Club in Fox Chapel, PA.
Pittsburgh FLL Competition – Helping our FIRST Community
About 15 Girls of Steel students and mentors traveled to the local FIRST Lego League competition on December 3rd, 2011. They volunteered as judges, worked as schedulers, helped set up and break down the event, and aided the five Girls of Steel mentored teams competing at the event.
“It was really amazing to see how much the FIRST organization impacts kids at such young ages – I even saw 1st and 2nd graders with their hands on the robots,” explained McKenna, a first-year Girl of Steel.“I wish that I had gotten involved with FIRST sooner!”
The Girls of Steel were thrilled to be able to help foster STEM interest even earlier by participating in this event, as well as mentoring the students.
“I swear I learned as much – even more – than the kids on the team that I mentored did,” said Jaden, a second-year Girl of Steel who mentored the rookie Carnegie Mellon University FLL team.
We hope to continue our support of this event and look forward to being involved next year.
The Girls of Steel participated in a robot demonstration at the Children’s Institute. Two team members and a mentor showed Crush to the students and teachers of the Day School. The kids were very excited to see a robot in action, and participated heavily in a discussion. One student was appropriately wearing a robot shirt, and another said they wanted a robot for Christmas. The students drove the robot with the assistance of our team members, and threw tubes into the “field” for the robot to pick up.
Toys For Tots
The girls demo the robot at the Pittsburgh Toys for Tots drive.On December 17th, we packed up our robot and demo equipment and traveled to a Toys for Tots distribution location in Pittsburgh. While the people waited in line, we handed out cool STEM trivia attached to pieces of candy. We had a table with robot coloring pages where the kids drew while they waited. While kids picked up their presents, they were able to enjoy watching—and test-driving—the robots. We demoed in the morning.
FIRST® Team #1708 – AMP’d Robotics, demoed their T-shirt launcher robot. The Girls of Steel hope we made the kids’ holiday season a bit more fun while also piquing their interest in STEM.
Steel City Robotics Alliance Workshop – Building Community
Every fall, the Steel City Robotics Alliance hosts an all-day workshop where teams from all across the Pittsburgh area come together to help each other by giving presentations about their successes. The event is open to all area robotics teams, supporters, and individuals who want to find out more about educational robotics programs: http://www.steelcityrobotics.org/events In fall 2011, the Girls of Steel students created two presentations for the event – “Fundraising 101” and “FIRST: The Key to Getting Girls in STEM”. The Girls of Steel gave advice on how to raise the funds necessary to run a successful FIRST Robotics Competition team. We separated the challenge into three parts: Grants, Sponsors, and Fundraisers. We detailed the business tips we had learned along the way and presented easy actions for each team to take in order to succeed in that particular business effort. In our “Girls and STEM” presentation, we described why it is so important for girls to be introduced to the STEM fields and how FIRST helps. We gave FIRST teams advice about how to attract more girls and recommended ways to incorporate female students into their team. Girls of Steel mentors gave two other presentations – “Intro to Java” and “Programming Your First FIRST Robot.”
TechNights Event – Inspiring Younger Girls
The girls explain the robot at the TechNights demo. The Girls of Steel team partnered with the Women in Technology TechNight group to organize an Open House demo. Creative Technology Nights for Girls (or TechNights for short) is a program focused on exposing middle school girls to creative technologies. The organization utilizes computer animation, web design, programming, robotics, and interactive media to engage a future generation of women in technology. Similar to our high school Girls of Steel Open House, we gave a brief explanation about the Girls of Steel and introduced the 15 team members participating. Wethen had the seventy attendees rotate through the stations, explaining the different parts of our team and how they worked.
Middle school girls get to drive Crush!
After the stations, the girls went to the demo area and donned safety glasses to watch our drivers show off the capabilities of Crush and Squirt, our first year robots. We then powered down and asked all the girls to come closer as we explained how the different parts of our robot worked and moved. We fielded lots of great questions from the TechNight girls and their parents. To end the night, all the girls got to drive Crush and Squirt around the demo area under the supervision of our drive team and mentors. Overall, the event was a huge success.
“Many, many thanks for your fabulous presentation to the TechNights girls last evening. We all enjoyed so much visiting the Highbay, hearing about Girls of Steel, seeing all the cool robot stuff there, and of course, getting to drive your robot!” said Mary Widom, head of Creative Technology Nights for Girls. “A lot of preparation and thought went into your presentation, and we’re so grateful to you for all your work to make our visit so special.”
SWAT Symposium In Toronto – Getting More Girls In STEM
October 22, 2011 – Three Girls of Steel team members and two mentors traveled to Toronto, Canada to participate in the SWAT Symposium. The girls gave a presentation at the workshop entitled, “FIRST: The Key To Getting Girls into STEM.” Another all-girls FIRST robotics team, FIRST Team SWAT #771, hosted the SWAT Symposium and invited us to the event to make a presentation on how to get girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Our presentation was aimed to co-ed and all-girls teams who wanted to more directly target and include girls on their team.
Mini-Maker Faire – Sharing Inventions
The team demos the 2011 robot at the Mini-Maker Faire. The Girls of Steel attended the Mini Maker’s Faire on October 23rd at the Children’s museum where people shared a wide variety of handmade items, including robots. The Faire was not only about robots. One group made abacuses out of beads, straws, and paper, while a different group had a slime machine that spelled words in a drop of slime as the drop fell to the ground. Yet another group covered a made in Christmas lights that lit up as various instruments were played. The Girls of Steel explained the FIRST program, described our team, and demonstrated our 2011 robot to the attendees. The young students even got the chance to control the robot.
Girls Of Steel Open House – Growing Our Team
The crowd gathers at the Girls of Steel 2011 Open House. Over the summer, the Girls of Steel organized a recruiting effort that culminated in our first annual Open House event. Over 150 people, including 80 potential members, attended the event. The Open House explained the Girls of Steel Robotics Team experience and FIRSTRobotics Program founded by inventor, Dean Kamen. The interactive two-hour event offered information about what it is like to be a team member and the many benefits of participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Participants had the opportunity to see robot demonstrations (FIRST Team #3504 andFIRST Team #1708) as well as to visit a variety of Team Experience Stations that detailed the many exciting facets of being a part of the Girls of Steel team.