On June 13th, our First Tech Challenge Robotics teams, the Robotic Rockettes and 11306 Prototype G presented their season highlights to staff members at SES. For three years, SES has generously sponsored the Robotics Program at YWCA Princeton, and without their continued support, the incredible work done in our Robotics Lab would not be possible.
The day began with ice cream and mingling. The robots were displayed in the center of the SES cafeteria, where the presentations later took place, surrounded by informational posters, team notebooks, and the several First Tech Challenge awards.
Doug Clayton, Senior Vice President at SES, welcomed the teams and introduced Dr. Cheryl Rowe-Rendleman, a YWCA Princeton Board Member, and a strong advocate of empowering girls in STEM. She acknowledged the Robotics program is a truly collaborative effort between the coaches, team members, SES, and YWCA Princeton. And the result of this collaboration has been incredible—the presentations were led by team captains Aparna Rajesh (Prototype G) and Anjali Dhayagude (Robotic Rockettes). In their presentations they revealed:
Throughout their seasons, the Robotics teams put in 534 hours of outreach alone. In this time, they were out in the community sharing their experiences with other girls and encouraging them to get involved with STEM. The Robotics team members feel passionate about providing young girls with the opportunities that they wish had been available to them sooner.
Aparna was asked to act as an honorary member of team 9971 LANbros drive team, ranked #1 in the state. She joined them in Detroit, and they won the entire FTC World Championship!
Both Aparna and Anjali also explained the strong sense of community among First Tech Challenge teams. They often work together with other teams at competitions and mentor one another. Prototype G made an improvement to the autonomous component of the challenge, and shared their information online. 100 other teams that have replicated their strategy! (Watch Aparna explain this innovation here)
The presentations were followed by a tour of the SES facilities, and a meeting between the Robotics teams and female engineers. We hope that the girls in our program felt as empowered by their experience as we felt inspired by their stories. Click here for more photos.