To help reduce the digital gender gap in Europe, Arrow Electronics teamed with Girls Go Circular’s Women and Girls in STEM Forum to fund a Green Robot Challenge. The event, held in Brussels, attracted 270 school-aged girls from across Europe, comprising a total of 90 teams from 19 countries.
A team from Malta won the competition for developing an eco-friendly robot that removes carbon dioxide from the air using the process of enhanced weathering, an effective way of decreasing greenhouse gases to mitigate the impact of climate change. Selected by a combined public and jury vote, the winning team earned an entry into the FIRST Tech Challenge Benelux Scrimmage in late February.
“We believe these learning opportunities play a critical role in cultivating female STEM leaders in the communities we serve,” said Christina Frantz, director of corporate affairs of Arrow. “Girls Go Circular is on the front lines of this effort, and we are proud to support the program’s work.”
Arrow helped connect GirlsGoCircular with FIRST Robotics, an Arrow STEM partner, which hosts international engineering events that tasks teams with building and programming industrial-size robots. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers.
The Women and Girls in STEM Forum gathered over 1,200 policymakers, industry leaders, students, and educators together to champion gender equality in STEM and information and communications technology (ICT).
Arrow invests in programs globally that expand access to STEM education for girls, with an emphasis on instilling confidence and leadership skills. Facilitated by the European Commission and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, Girls Go Circular equipped nearly 40,000 schoolgirls aged 14-19 throughout Europe with digital and entrepreneurial skills. The initiative aims to reach out to thousands more young girls, empowering them to embrace STEM and ICT studies and careers.