Our team has seen an incredible increase in female engineers in the last few years. We've grown from about 5% female engineers to almost 50%. We can attribute this to our highly active and visible role in the community. Our outreach programs are held at events where the odds of attracting females are just as high as the odds of attracting males. We have a strong central focus in our team advisor who is a female civil and environmental engineer as well as an innovative science and math teacher. New female member, Carley Burford said, "I aspire to be an engineer and this was a great stepping stone to achieving that goal."
We do our best to run a fun and exciting program and it appears to be working! At the beginning of this Robotics season we held team building workshops to learn to cooperate with others to solve problems. This helped to bring everyone together and create a spirit of team unity. Another new member, Emily Stickney stated, "I joined THS Robotics because I wanted to broaden my horizons and this club was a fun and innovative way to do that."
We also have many dedicated recruiters that go out of their way to expose new people to FIRST. Amanda Eilers, one such dedicated recruiter explained, "This program has truly impacted my life; I feel obligated to do my part to share this experience with other young women." As far as actually building and putting together our robot, we work hard to ensure that our female members get just as much of an opportunity to get involved with this as the male members. We've noted that many of our female members see this as a challenge, "I wanted to prove to the boys that I am just as capable of mounting a gearbox as they are; I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty," new member Abbey Murray competitively announced.
We have given our team the reputation of being just as accessible and beneficial to females as it is to males. Our active members include many highly visible and influential females. "If you were to look at the members of our team, you would never guess that this is a club that designs and builds robots. We're doing our best to get rid of the stereotype and prove to the world that the careers associated with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are careers that should be of just as much interest to females as males," team member, Jessica Medina concluded.