I can especially feel the sense of community in an all girls robotics team. Before I went to Salem Academy I was enrolled in a co-ed public school where the majority of boys steamrolled girls in STEM activities. That problem is virtually nonexistent with an all girls team because it feels like we are all on the same wavelength. We are able to connect more because when you have an all girls robotics team it is much easier to understand how we all think and act. Not to mention most of my team being friends before we joined robotics. Other than the community an all girls robotics team allows us to be imperfect. When I was at my co-ed school I always felt I had to be perfect in order to keep my STEM “street cred”. I knew that there was not a high tolerance for imperfect girls in STEM because as soon as you would slip up or make a mistake, it gave certain people the chance to enforce harmful stereotypes that women don’t belong in the STEM fields. Since these harmful stereotypes are more often than not perpetuated by boys, an all girls environment provides a safe place to make mistakes, learn, and grow without fear of being judged or ridiculed.
I think the main thing to take away from this is that an all female school and/or team is a great opportunity for young women to discover what they are interested in without judgement. I highly recommend that all girls consider the possibility of being a part of an all girls school/ robotics team.
This blog was written by Emma from FTC team 7444. If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!