Grand Rapids Girls Robotics Competition: Accelerating STEAM with girl power

Saturday, Oct. 5, 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
We hear a lot these days about the lack of opportunities for women in the sciences. Locally, I am happy to report that we are not only shoring up these gaps through new programs in education, we are also advancing hands-on experiences like the Grand Rapids Girls Robotics Competition, which will be held this Saturday in Wyoming.

Grand Rapids Girls Robotics, according to FIRST, the event organizers, provides a fun, low-cost event, which allows teams to enjoy using their robots, thus giving more students an opportunity to showcase their robot in a student competition.

And if you wondered about the rules, they are fairly simply:
1. Robot driver/operator, human player, and pit crew must be high school-aged girls.
2. Any male team members can only be in the pit but act in the role of support/advisory. 
3. The competition will use all the IRI rules. 
4. An additional rule is that each team of the four-team alliance must play at least once in the playoff.

If you are also wondering about the interest in this event thus far, at press time more than 25 student teams from area schools will be competing on Saturday. Here are just a few of the many area teams competing this year: 

Team 858 - The Demons of Wyoming High School
Team 2054 - Tech Vikes of Hopkins High School
Team 2771 - Code Red of Grand River Preparatory High School
Team 3875 - Red Storm Robotics of East Kentwood High School
Team 5980 - East Grand Rapids High School

For those looking to attend, please refer to this schedule of events for Saturday’s big competition day: 

7:00 a.m. - Pits are open
8:00 a.m. - "Ladies in Tech" career panel discussion
8:45 a.m. - Opening ceremonies
9:00 a.m. - Matches begin
12:30 p.m. - Lunch
1:15 p.m. - Matches continue
2:30 p.m. - Drafting for final elimination tournament
3:00 p.m. - Tournament begins
5:00 p.m. - Awards ceremony
5:30 p.m. - Event concludes
More Info