Everyday life as a female in FIRST provides us with opportunities that can not be found elsewhere. A yearly event, IndyRage, is an all females off-season competition, hosted by FRC Team Cyber Blue 234. At this competition, the drive team MUST be all female. IndyRage is a great event for people to become more comfortable with positions on the team that are not normally open to them. With all of the opportunities provided to females on the field, some teams return to old habits in their pits. As a member of team 1792 Round Table Robotics, we pride ourselves in not having a single male in our pit at IndyRage. We used IndyRage not to win, but to have fun and to widen our knowledge. All of us got to do every position on the team. As an operator, it was my first time controlling the robot. I spent the entire match stressing for the end-climb. As the driver lined up for the climb, my hands shook in anticipation. I practiced the order so often that it rang in my head: right trigger, left bumper, left trigger, left bumper, left trigger. The switch from left trigger to left bumper was such a quick switch my finger switched. I looked up from the controller to see our robot fall to its right and fall back. We all inhaled sharply as we saw the middle bar protruding at a painful angle. After the match, we rushed the robot back to our pit and immediately began running tests. After minutes that felt like years crawling by, the middle bar was set back into place. At this moment I realized that being on the drive team is very stressful and also very rewarding. Without IndyRage and other events that allow females to try different positions, we do not get the full experience of a competition.
By: An H
As a female in FIRST, we sometimes get overlooked. However, when we dedicate ourselves to a project, we get our moment to shine. These common goals bring us together as a community. Every year, to grow our community of females in FIRST, Round Table Robotics attends an all-girls offseason event called Indy Rage. My first experience at Indy Rage was when I was a freshman, and it was life-changing. Competing with a large number of females made me feel like I belonged, and wasn’t as intimidating as being surrounded by a bunch of guys towering over me. As a freshman, typically students don’t really get opportunities to touch the robot or use more advanced tools. Despite this, at Indy Rage, I was able to do more than I’d originally thought. I was a part of the drive team and got to help more in the pit instead of just cheering in the stands. IndyRage was an event that radiates female pride and being proud of who you are as a person. Indy Rage promises an opportunity to show off what you can do, instead of being overshadowed by the opposite gender. Due to empowering events like Indy Rage, it’s a little easier for me to put myself out there and get involved. I’ve become more social with everyone and less fearful of trying new things; I can only thank the girls on my team. I’m proud to be a female in FIRST.
This blog was written by Michaela and An from FRC 1792 Round Table Robotics . If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!