From The LINK: Girls of Steel Go Global

Kevin O'ConnellThursday, November 17, 2022

Members of the Girls of Steel team with their robot, Lightning McQueen

Six full-length basketball-court-sized fields of competition stack alongside one another on the floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The packed grandstands teem with fans. The JumboTrons show highlights of the action on the field while announcers whip the crowd into a frenzy with play-by-play commentary. Flashing lights and blaring music add to the excitement as cheering crowds rise to see the competition heat up across the floor. 

This basketball-meets-gymnastics competition set in a rock concert/science fair is the 2022 FIRST Championship — the world championship of youth robotics. The Houston event this past April was the first time the championship has happened in three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pittsburgh's Girls of Steel team was on the scene.

Sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, the Girls of Steel pitted their robot against 600 teams from more than 100 countries. Teams designed, built and programmed their own robots, most of which stood 4-5 feet tall and weighed in at roughly 125 pounds. Read more about the team's journey to the finals and how it all played out in the most recent issue of the School of Computer Science magazine, The LINK.

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