Girl Scouts Compete with Robots

ATLANTA—Coming together in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome are six Girl Scout teams from across the country.

From April 16-18, they participated in the 2009 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championship.

The Scouts will compete against more than 10,000 students, from middle and high schools, in a robotics contest that teaches young people to address engineering and design problems in a creative and collaborative way.

To inspire girls and young women to follow careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Girl Scouts of the USA entered into a partnership with FIRST. It is designed to foster opportunities for girls to explore STEM by providing hands-on experience in the designing, building and programming of robots while applying the concept of “gracious professionalism” during competition. It is made possible through support from the Motorola Foundation.

Jaclyn Libowitz, GSUSA chief of staff, claimed, “In an ever-changing economy, there is a growing demand for critical thinkers. Through programs like FIRST and our other STEM initiatives, we’re showing girls that not only can they be successful in math and science, but they can also be leaders in those fields.”

Girl Scout teams that qualified for the FIRST Championship are from the FIRST Lego Leagues: Ice Breakers—Girl Scouts of Nassau County; Weather Robots—Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles; FIRST Tech Challenge: Rock ‘n Roll Robots—Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles; Techno Chix—Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson; and FIRST Robotics Challenge): Space Cookies—Girl Scouts of Northern California; Austin Lady Tin Cans—Girl Scouts of Central Texas.

"We’re excited to be able to continue our partnership with the Girl Scouts," says Paul Gudonis, FIRST president. "Through their innovation, teamwork and leadership, the Girl Scout teams that have advanced to the Championship are showing other young people that science can be rewarding and fun."

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