Four Hanahan kids are on the way to the Robotics World Championship this week. They call themselves the “Engi-deers”. They stood out in state competitions for their innovation and design, and also because they are one of the only teams made up of all girls.
One of the students, 7th grader Mia Bowersox, says, “We’re usually one of the only all girls teams. It’s usually all boys teams.”
And they say that matters. These 5th-7th graders are setting an example for other young girls who may be discouraged from pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math.
Bowersox says, “We learned that after second grade, a lot of girls push STEM, math and science, toward the boys so I think it’s kind of cool that we are kind of experimenting in a male-dominant field and we’re kind of getting a head start in our careers.”
Amelia, Mia, Amber, and Olivia have been working on their robot for the past three years. They’ve designed it, built it, and programmed it to go through two and a half minutes of commands. Even though these girls are master engineers, they say they are wary about their chances during the World Championship.
7th grader Olivia Sisson says, “We went to Nationals and there weren’t very many international teams… But there was Korea and Korea like, woo!”
Bowersox adds, “Korea is bomb-diggity in their robot.”
But they are walking into it as a learning experience.
Bowersox says, “It will be pretty cool to see what other people did with the same exact thing we were given, but with other influences and their own cultures and it’s this universal kind of measuring tool that we can see each other with.”
The competition starts Thursday, April 20 in Houston, Texas. The girls have been so inspired by the robotics team that they all plan to pursue science careers in the future. A few even dream of being roommates at MIT together.
Another team from the Lowcountry is heading to the same competition. The Steamworks team from Summerville is made up of students from Summerville High and Ashley Ridge High. They earned a wild card spot in the World Competition.