SEATTLE, WA - March 13, 2019 - Exploring hands-on challenges in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is increasing girls’ interest in engineering robots for competitions, according to initial data from Girl Powered, a global movement launched by The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and VEX Robotics, and supported by Google.
Google is expanding its partnership with the REC Foundation by supporting a new series of Girl Powered Workshops, with the first workshop being held March 16-17 from 9 am-5 pm (GST) at its headquarters in Seattle.
The two-day workshop in Seattle will feature Google employees helping students build VEX EDR robots and put them to the test with the VEX Robotics Competition Turning Point game challenge.
"We are thrilled to welcome the Girl Powered workshop to Google for a weekend of learning and fun. The REC Foundation is working to increase access to STEM education for young girls right here in Seattle and it's programs like this that are preparing them for the workforce of the future. It's been exciting to see them continue to expand their reach over the last three years and our Google volunteers are excited to work along side this talented group of girls. We can't wait to see what they build with the VEX EDR robots!" said Susie Vowinkel, Google Ads Director and Google Seattle Site Lead.
Girl Powered workshops allow girls and boys to explore their interests and build robots alongside mentors in a comfortable, supportive environment while building their confidence, teamwork and communication skills.
Since Girl Powered launched in 2016, female participation in VEX Robotics has increased steadily from 23 percent in 2016 to 37 percent in 2018. Girl Powered aims to change the face of STEM, as females only represent 24 percent of the STEM workforce in the U.S.
“The initial results of Girl Powered is promising, but we know we have a long way to go in changing the face of STEM to be more reflective of the global, diverse community. We are committed to increasing participation in Girl Powered through partnerships with Google and the Girl Scouts, among others,” said Dan Mantz, CEO and chairman of the board, The REC Foundation.
Future Girl Powered workshops are being planned for this summer in Boston, MA; Austin, TX; and Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA.
Google also supports The REC Foundation by sponsoring an online challenge for Girl Powered VEX Robotics participants in elementary, middle school and high school. This year’s online challenge asked students to share how they have created a more inclusive environment on their team.
The top prize, a $750 vexrobotics.com gift certificate and automatic team qualification for the 2019 VEX Robotics World Championship, was awarded on March 10, 2019, for the VEX IQ Challenge category to Team 10142A, Green Tiger from Honolulu, HI and for the VEX Robotics Competition category to Team 7983W, Centennial Cyberhawks from Bakersfield, CA.
For National Women’s History Month, Girl Powered is honoring female accomplishments in STEM history with a new line of Girl Powered T-shirts. The T-shirts feature the Girl Powered logo and inspirational quotes from female STEM heroes, with 20 percent of sales supporting Girl Powered programs. For more information, visit: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/VEX-Robotics/girl+powered?q=T292261.
About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation (REC) Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation's mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable, and sustainable robotics engineering programs.
About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to schools, universities, and robotics teams around the world. The VEX IQ and VEX EDR product lines span elementary, middle, and high schools with accessible, scalable, and affordable robotics solutions. Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership, and problem solving among groups. It allows educators to easily customize projects to meet the level of students’ abilities as they inspire & prepare the STEM problem-solvers of tomorrow.