Carnegie Mellon University's Girls of Steel: Successful Approach to Get More Girls to Study STEMBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
When it comes to higher education, the United States has been one of the leading countries in the world, however, it lacks focus on educating more engineers and scientists for the future. One of the reasons is the growing gap in gender in the students who pursue career in the field of science, technology, engineering and math. This is the reason why it is very important to catch and keep the attention of more female students in order to close the STEM gender gap.
Good thing, Carnegie Mellon University's Girls of Steel group has found a way to be able to encourage and further increase the interest of many young girls to STEM. According to GoodCall, this competition led by George Kantor, senior systems scientist at the university's Robotics Institute, is the first robotics competition composed of 50 girls from 20 different high schools in the Pittsburgh area.
The girls meet at CMU's Field Robotics Center is where they do the designing, building, programming of 120 lb. robots. And then, these robots would compete around the world with other FRC teams. Kantor explained that the Girls of Steel is also considered a flagship program in a larger initiative which aims to provide more participants for robotics teams and activities for the girls ranging K-12.
This team is very much helpful and beneficial for girls who have shown interest in STEM because it is where they get to learn a wider range of skills and knowledge in the said fields. According to the group's official website, they were able to come up with the name "Girls of Steel" after a brainstorming session. They though that it perfectly matches the image in their logo which was Rosie the Riveter with a robotic arm. Rosie, who was made during World War II, is the representation of women who went over to take the jobs of men in the factories when they had to leave and go to war.