CMU-sponsored "Girls of Steel" to Compete in FIRST Event

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An all-girl robotics team sponsored by Carnegie Mellon's Field Robotics Center (FRC) and the PghTech Women Network will compete in a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) regional event March 11-12 at the Petersen Events Center in Oakland.

The rookie team, the Girls of Steel, includes 24 students in grades 9 through 12 from 11 Pittsburgh area high schools and a home school student. The program is intended to nurture interest among girls in robotics and in technological careers in general.

Weekly training classes began in October and the team's "building season" began in January at the FRC, led by George Kantor, systems scientist. Also helping are Balajee Kannan, research engineer; M. Bernardine Dias, assistant research professor; Chuck Whittaker, robotics field and test engineer; David Wettergreen, associate research professor; William "Red"Whittaker, FRC director; and several graduate and undergraduate students.

The team built two robots, "Crush" and "Squirt" for this year's FIRST competition. Crush is designed to hang inflated plastic shapes onto a grid, for which the team will receive points during each match. Squirt is a small electro-mechanical minibot, which will race on a vertical pole to earn points.

For more information contact Patti Rote at 412-576-9742, and go to http://www.cmu.edu/news/archive/2010/November/nov15_girlsroboticsteam.shtml

Byron Spice | 412-268-9068 | bspice@cs.cmu.edu