Spiderbyte is an all girls robotics team. We are the regional partner for First Ladies in MD. We are based in the John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. We have competed in FTC competitions for 4 years and we advocate for women in STEM. Spiderbyte asked their team members about experiences on our team. These are the answers they gave.
Why did you join the team?
Our team members joined because they wanted to try something new and receive a challenge. Additionally, many members were recruited at Girl Power, which is an event that has STEM activities specifically for girls.
What has Spiderbyte taught you?
Spiderbyte has taught our members many social skills, like being a good team member, cooperating with others and communicating ideas. Being in Spiderbyte also taught us to listen to others. It has always taught the members that girls can can have the same impact that boys have in the STEM field.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced while on Spiderbyte?
The biggest challenges our members faced were being new, and being resilient when the robot kept failing. It was hard for the new people to understand all the building and code, but they learned quickly. When the robot kept failing it was frustrating, but we constantly worked to find new solutions.
What technical skills did you learn on the team?
At Spiderbyte we learned many technical skills. For example, we learned basic code, how to use tetrix parts to build things like s drivetrain, how to prototype, and how to brainstorm.
What does Spiderbyte mean to you?
To Spiderbyte members being on the team means they have a chance to be a girl in STEM. It also gives them a chance to experience aspects of STEM at a young age.
Spiderbyte also asked our past Alumni, Clara and Anna, about their experiences and how Spiderbyte helped them in life.
1. How has FIRST benefited you?
Clara: I think FIRST was a great experience that allowed me to try out engineering and learn how to tackle typical challenges. It was a great medium for practicing public speaking and networking as well.
Anna: I learned many basic engineering skills, and I also had practice working with a team and leading the team in different instances.
2. What life skills did you learn from FIRST?
Clara: The problem-solving skills that I learned (how to rationally tackle a problem while keeping a time limit in mind) will definitely help me with solving future problems in my field. Additionally, I learned a lot about myself as a leader. I grew a lot throughout my time as build captain, which I think will help me as I participate in, or even lead, engineering teams in the future.
Anna: Competitions could be chaotic and stressful, so I also learned how to get through all of that while still having fun.
3. Did being in FIRST help you get the lifestyle you wanted?
Clara:It's hard to say this early into my life, but I think it's set me on a good track, and allowed me to develop good skills that will help me succeed later in life.
Anna: For me, FIRST actually helped confirm that while I enjoy STEM and engineering for fun, I am really interested in personal connections and public speaking.
4. What are you majoring in?
Clara: I'm majoring in Electrical Engineering with the possibility of a Business minor and/or a certificate in Engineering Leadership.
Anna: I am majoring in Public Policy
5. What was your job while you were on the team?
Clara: I worked on the Build Team for the three years I was on the team, and was the Build Team captain for my last year.
Anna: I was the Pit Speaker, so I stayed at the Pit at all times and helped make sure our team had a good public appearance when speaking to other teams or judges, while also organizing some of the people coming in and out of the pit at different times.
6. What college do you currently attend?
Clara: Rice University (It's in Houston, TX)
Anna: I attend the University of Chicago
7. What is/was your favorite part about FIRST?
Clara: Probably how unique the challenges are. Even if they reuse elements, the concept is always something new that requires you to have to constantly solve new problems. I also love that the focus isn't solely on robotics, but also on service and the non-technical skills that engineers need.
Anna: Competitions are amazing of course. So much is going on, but it is really exciting to be in the thick of it, and watching hard work come to fruition in the form of judging presentations or the robot competing on the field.
Overall, Spiderbyte does not wants girls to limit themselves. STEM is not exclusive to one group of people. Everyone has a place in STEM, especially girls!
This blog was written by FTC Team Spiderbyte (FTC 10216). If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule!
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