Strike a Chord: Robotics Team Nurtures Talents of Tech-...
Strike a Chord: Robotics Team Nurtures Talents of Tech-Savvy Girls (Photo: Rob Palazzolo, WFUV News)
Women are under-represented in Science and Engineering. However, there is an all-girls robotics team at a Bronx high school that wants to change that.
Meet the FeMaidens. They are an all-girls competitive robotics team at The Bronx High School of Science. For those who may not remember high school chemistry, FE is the symbol on the periodic table for Iron--so their name is actually the "Iron Maidens."
It is a clever name, and this is a clever bunch. The team designs and builds robots for competitions with other schools around the region.
However, the team does more than just that--they are blazing a trail for girls who are interested in science, but have felt uncomfortable pursuing their passion in school.
Violet Killy is a junior, and she will be the co-captain of the FeMaidens next year. She explained:
"I felt that it was really encouraging to see not just a couple of girls on a team, but a whole team of 50 girls who are interested in the things I was interested in, and who wanted to pursue the fields I did," said Killy.
Bronx science used to only have one robotics team, for both genders. However, Faculty Advisor Brian Lam said the old team tended to be more dominated by the boys, and so the girls did not always get the opportunity they needed to develop their science and engineering skills.
"A lot of people think that women, either personality-wise or culturally-wise, get pushed away from these STEM fields," explained Lam, using an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. "Because men tend to be more assertive."
The FeMaidens, however, are definitely not intimidated. At their workshop in the basement of Bronx Science, they are completely confident with drilling holes, soldering wires, and everything necessary to craft their machines.
These girls look right at home.