All Girls Teams?


#1

There always is talk about how to get more girls involved in robotics. I know of some teams of girls from all-girl schools, but what about in co-ed schools?
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What do all of you think about forming all girl FRC teams in addition to an existing FRC team in a co-ed school?** From what I’ve heard from people I know in robotics there have been the stand points:

  1. Its good! It gets more girls involved!

  2. Its not so good! The girls are completely separated and not as much learning and sharing of knowledge involved!

I’d like to get an idea what the whole FIRST community has to say on this issue.


#2

This is idea is pessimal. It gives an innaccurate view of the real engineering world, and shelters both male and female proto-engineers. The experience of working on a team is radically different if their is intentional sampling bias in said team. Very, very, very, few companies have entirely female employess. Very few, but slightly more are all male. This also wastes resources and would be socially bizzare.


#3

I’m not sure how it would get more girls involved. Especially if some of them only join at first because of all the guys.


#4

I agree. Having an all girls team is fine if you are an all-girls school, or maybe a Girl Scouts team, but having a co-ed school with an all-girls team would be awkward. I would think they would rather join a co-ed team. Alternately, all the girls on the co-ed team might opt to move to the all-girls team, leaving the “co-ed” team with only boys.

It would also create a lot of problems logistically. Both teams would probably want to have equal treatment, meaning sponsors would either have to shell out double the money, or all donations would be split equally. It just seems to me that it would be more trouble than it’s worth. Personally, I’d rather see a co-ed team with a 50:50 boy-girl ratio


#5

I would take everything said in this thread by a male with a grain of salt.

None of us can know how females feel about the subject.

In addition, it’s somewhat insulting to all the women in FIRST to insinuate that they joined just because of the guys.


#6

This has been tried at least once. Emery Collegiate in Toronto had, at one point, a girls’ team and a boys’ team. Now there’s only one team.

I’m speculating here, but I have a feeling that the sheer cost of paying major expenses twice, combined with the problem of dividing up the limited mentoring resources and fabrication space and equipment led to the conclusion that one team would serve their needs adequately. I’m also not sure if there was sufficient participation in later years to justify maintaining the unusual structure.

If you want to know more, ask someone from 1219 (the ex-boys’ team, and now the co-ed Emery C.I. team).

(By the way, there’s no need for Cory’s grain of salt here; this is all easily verifiable.)


#7

There is actually an all girls team out here. I forget there number but they always have a pink robot they do pretty well at regionals Chespeake in particular.


#8

There’s plenty of all girls teams in FIRST. This thread is dealing specifically with one school having two teams–an all girls team, and a potentially co-ed/male team.


#9

An all-women’s team might attract more young women because they would feel less intimidated than being on a co-ed team, especially if they are new to FIRST or new to technology areas.

Besides, I thought 1929 had done just this in Montclair?


#10

Well I feel that sometimes young ladies are scared to step up to the plate and show that they can be chic but intellegent at the same time. I’ve been teased plenty by my girl friends and others for being on the robotics team and being the “dorky” engineering type. Sometimes peer pressure amounts to too much, from other girls only though, the boys couldn’t really care less if you’re on the robotics team or not. So many girls basically need a bit of an attitude adjustment. Not all girls mind you! But many.


#11

We have had an all girls team since the beginning of this year. In Montclair, there is 555, the co-ed team and 1929, the girls team. So far everything is going fine, we have 2 separate teams and 2 separate sponsors so there are no conflict of interests over anything.


#12

girls being on a team can be both entertaining … if not stranbge at times… but hey, the guys need us


#13

Six years ago when my daughter’s school organized FLL, there were too many for one team. They split up guys/girls (numbers were ~equal). The girls went on to be a very successful team (Dragon Devils, Michigan, in case anyone remembers).

Usually a school doesn’t have the problem of too many participants for one team - I’d guess there would have to be somewhere between 50 and 100 team members before a split would become necessary (depending on team dynamics, roles, particpation levels, etc.). If you have to do a split and there are enough girls, then you can consider it.

Unfortunately there is another reason to set up a new all-girls team - if on the existing team the girls are relegated to background roles. All too often it happens, not just on FIRST teams, that the stereotype of “girls can’t do Math/Engineering/Science” prevails. If girls can’t break into leadership and technical roles on an existing team, they should explore setting up a separate team, perhaps in conjunction with girls from neighboring teams who feel the same way. They would have to find separate funding sources, mentors and build locations. But it could be done if it is needed. Just the threat of breaking off might give the existing team the wakeup call that it needs - “Hello, 21st Century calling!”


#14

There are many great all girls teams out there. I think they do a great job in every aspect when it comes to FIRST from on the field to off the field. Many team can learn a lot from these all girl teams I’ve seen throughout the years.
But all girls teams allows girls who feel intimated by guys while working on the robot a chance to work on the robot. Some girls just work better in this environment and this is a chance for them to succeed.
Like everything… there are pros and cons. I feel the pros out weight all the cons though. Girls may not be as stong as guys but we will find a way to prevail and solve our problems. And I’m not saying we don’t need guys. Both males and females bring something to this world and we can’t live without one another.

Good luck to all teams once again! :slight_smile:


#15

for schools like us, it is not feasable since we have too few members already. And I also agree that it would be a waste of resources for a school to have 2 teams, when 1 would be more than enough.


#16

This is basically why I started this thread. I was formerly a female co-captain on 555 and was the only girl on 2 out of 4 of the trips we went on last year. I was surprised when I had heard that Montclair was making a whole new team of girls (1929) since we only had a few girls last year.


#17

I <3 girls whether they are on an all girls team or not. and whether or not they are part of robotics or not… :wink:


#18

I’ll assume thats because of the beneficial and valuable knowledge and input we give when working in groups.


#19

As to the discussion, just from seeing the results this far it seems to me that having an all-girls team along with a co-ed team is quite detrimental. All it really seems to do is further segregate the teams, and make it much more difficult for the statistically smaller girls team. It also takes away valuable input from the co-ed team who, despite being co-ed, is left seemingly without girls as the girls no longer have the time to commit to both robots.


#20

I don’t think that we should start all girl teams because I really think that there are more ideas that float around (from personal experience). But I really think that the girls of the teams need to start a retreat of some sort. Sometimes girls just need to take a break, I mean I am one of only two girls on my team. Don’t get me wrong I love these guys but on occasion I need a little break.