Thousands of Students and Female Change-Makers Unite to Celebrate International Day of the Girl & Spark Girls’ Interest in STEM
VEX Robotics & The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation Hosted 100 Girl Powered Events, including Flagship Event at Texas Instruments, to Foster Girls’ Interest in STEM
Dallas, TX – October 12, 2017 – Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), VEX Robotics, Inc. and the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation were excited to connect hundreds of students with a potential interest in robotics, for an evening full of engaging hands-on activities developed to nurture girls’ engagement in STEM concepts and redefine the face of STEM.
The Girl Powered initiative seeks to help girls realize their full potential and provide them with the confidence needed to excel in STEM. The Dallas flagship event took place this week, along with 100 other Girl Powered workshops spanning across the United States and the world. These events coincided with the International Day of the Girl, adopted by the United Nations in 2011 to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
“I’ve experienced the powerful life-changing STEM path a young woman sets out on when she is offered a chance to manage her own robotics team, taught to write code, mentored through the engineering design challenge, and introduced to positive female role-models and mentors,” said Vicki Grisanti, senior director of communications at the REC Foundation. “These opportunities should be open to all students. Girl Powered is critical to establish a community of support where we value equal participation and a diversity of ideas and perspectives.”
“TI is proud to support Girl Powered by opening our doors to the hundreds of STEM-inspired students in the Dallas area event with 75 employee volunteers who are equally passionate about inspiring STEM in future leaders,” said Peter Balyta, TI president of Education Technology and vice president of Academic Engagement and Corporate Citizenship. “There is a huge opportunity to grow the STEM workforce by addressing factors that deter all students, girls in particular, from pursuing these highly rewarding careers. TI leverages our community relationships, as well as employees’ commitment to making a difference, as we work to increase the pipeline of students interested in STEM and to reach girls.”
The Girl Powered Flagship Event kicked-off with a panel discussion with Jennifer Bartkowski, CEO, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas; Dr. Njema Frazier, Physicist, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy; Alicia Morgan, Engineer, STEM/STEAM Advocate; Krunali Patel, Vice President and Manager Analog Design Services, at Texas Instruments, and Katie Widen, Software Engineer, VEX Robotics. Following the panel discussion were a series of hands-on STEM activities including hacking a musical greeting card, a slime experiment, VEX IQ coding and speed build exercises, and the opportunity to drive robots. The panel discussion portion of the event was also webcast out to the nearly 100 other Girl Powered events with thousands of people tuning into the event, viewable via Facebook.com/VEXRobotics and https://livestream.com/vrctv1/girl-powered.
Launched in 2016, Girl Powered is co-lead by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and VEX Robotics, Inc. to redefine the face of STEM. In addition to the workshops, new teams with at least 50% female representation can apply for a Girl Powered team grant, they can submit their story to the Girl Powered Online Challenge, and show their commitment to the initiative by taking the Girl Powered pledge. The leadership committee has also created a selection of online materials intended to aid coaches, mentors, and parents in creating experiences where students feel supported in their exploration of STEM and robotics equally.
Annually, the REC Foundation presents a series of robotics engineering programs that engage students from elementary school through college classrooms and at after-school competitions in hands-on technology challenges that build their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). More than 20,000 teams around the world are expected to compete this season in the VEX IQ Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U. Students have already begun designing, building, and programming robots to compete this season at more than 1,500 local, state, and regional competition events, which culminate in the VEX Robotics World Championship in April.
For more information about the initiative visit GirlPowered.com.
About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work. For more information, please visit RoboticsEducation.org or for details on upcoming events, please visit RobotEvents.com.
About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics is a leading global provider of educational robotics products to schools, universities and competition teams. Their scalable and affordable solutions span primary and secondary schools while encouraging teamwork, leadership and problem solving. With easily customizable projects, educators can match their students’ abilities and prepare STEM problem-solvers of tomorrow.
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world’s brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today. Learn more at www.ti.com. More information on ways TI is working to improve STEM education can be found at www.ti.com/STEM