Saturday, January 26, 2019

EVE: The newest Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Robotics Team

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By: Lime Green Giraffe Photography Editor, Zora F.



            BREAKING NEWS: Did you hear that Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta just exclusively released their new robotics STEM Badges. There are now STEM Journeys and STEM Badges at every level from Daisies to Ambassadors. I am so excited to try these out! One of the badges and journeys that really caught our eyes is the Computer Science journey and the Space Science badge and we can't wait to get our hands on them!

Did you know that there are robotics teams within Girl Scouts? I’m happy to say that my robotics team “Engineering Vigorously Everyday” EVE is NOW sponsored by Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Being on an African American all girls robotics team is really AWESOME! One reason it is important is because there are not a lot of girls in STEM. Also there only a small percentage of people in engineering and STEM fields are African American.

This year will be EVE’s first time being sponsored by Girl Scouts. There are currently thirteen girls on team. Who are they and what are there positions? The members on our team are:
   Medinah A. - Lead Engineer
   Zoë A.- Safety Captain
   Shaneese S. - CFO
   Grace J. - Fundraising Manager
   Noni V. - General Manager
   Ngozi V. - Programmer
   Zora F. - Programmer
   Journey M. - Electrical
   Sakile V. - Electrical
   Jordan T. - Programmer
   Brianna W. - Mechanical Team
   Mecca J. - Marketing
   Sarai B. - Mechanical Team
There are two main parts on our team of thirteen. We are divided into builders and programers. Everyone gets to build, but the programmers are chosen based on their interest in coding. The best part of robotics is just meeting people in general, because I have made friends with some of the most amazing girls in robotics.

A big question I think of all the time is why there are so few African American women in STEM? According to Scientista Foundation:
“African American women and girls comprise a little more than 6% of the total U.S. population, 14% of female students enrolled at four-year institutions, and 10.4% of female graduate enrollment in STEM fields. Since there is a small minority of African American women and girls not applying to colleges in STEM fields is very concerning.”

According to the NSF:
Black or African American women, similar to Hispanic women, earn a higher share of bachelor's degrees in psychology and social sciences than in any other broad S&E field. In the past 20 years, the largest increase in the share of bachelor's degrees black women earn was in psychology, followed by social and biological sciences. Their share of bachelor's degrees has declined in computer sciences, mathematics and statistics, and engineering.

            There is a small minority of girls/women in STEM in general, according to National Girls Collaborative Project:
           “women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29% of the science and engineering workforce. Female scientists and engineers are concentrated in different occupations than are men, with relatively high shares of women in the social sciences (62%) and biological, agricultural, and environmental life sciences (48%) and relatively low shares in engineering (15%) and computer and mathematical sciences (25%).”

            How can we change that? A great way to get involved where everyone is welcome. It doesn’t matter your race or gender to be part of FIRST Robotics. The FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for students in grades 7–12 to compete head to head, using a sports model. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots in a 10-week build period to compete in an alliance format against other teams. According to firstinspires.org,
           “the mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”
Their Vision is to "To transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders." Dean Kamen, Founder.

For more information to get involved with FIRST Inspire within Girl Scouts go to https://www.girlscoutsatl.org/en/our-program/stem.html

            Today, there are many programs like Girls Scouts showing all girls around the world that if you put your mind to something you can achieve it. To all the wonderful girls who have read this article, I want to encourage you to go and find a local STEM program near you so you can broaden your horizons and reach for the skies. I encourage you to jump into STEM with Girl Scouts, but here are some of our community partners that focus on STEM too - Girls Who Code, Women In Technology, 100 Girls of Code, Made With Code, and Black Girls Code.


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