A robotics team from San Domenico School (an all-girls boarding high school in Marin County, CA) has been winning awards and working their way up the competition ladder.
Known as Team Genesis, the young women first competed in the 2010 Northern California Qualifying Tournament taking the top honor and an invitation to compete in championship competition.
At the Championship Tournament, Team Genesis “won the Think Award at the championships, recognizing team that best manages and documents design and engineering process.” (All-Girls Robotics Team Beats the Boys, SA-FP)
Under the aegis of the FIRST program (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the twelve young women, led by San Domenico teacher Tammy Swanson, independently developed their robot while maintaining their regular academic, athletic, and extracurricular course loads.
Swanson explained the team’s commitment:
“They [the team] calculated that they spent 262 hours working on the robot this year…That’s about 42 percent more time than most high school students spend in school per semester. When sports and other extracurricular activities are added to the mix, my team spent about twice as much time in school as the average student.” (SA-FP)
Reflecting on their participation, in the FIRST Tech Challenge, the team tells SanAnselmo-FairfaxPATCH’s Chris Rooney:
“Before participating in FTC, I never imagined that science and math could solve real world problems. I was never better than other students at math or science, and they were not necessarily my favorite classes. However, after joining Robotics and enjoying myself, I found that I became more curious about how math and science are used to solve problems while building actual robots. I used to think Robotics was only for geniuses, but now I know it is for anybody who wants to have fun!
Moreover, since San Domenico high school is an all-girls school (and all the team members were girls), FTC was even more meaningful because we faced and overcame so many challenges that we never thought we would be able to solve by ourselves as young women. We put ourselves out there, competed with other teenage guys (about 90 percent are boys) and also won two incredible awards — so unimaginable and COOL!” (SA-FP)