The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and VEX Robotics, Inc. teamed up to launch Girl Powered, a joint initiative to engage more young women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through competitive robotics. This announcement comes with a series of Girl Powered outreach activities hosted by REC Foundation partners and teams which will take place today, on the International Day of the Girl Child, adopted by the United Nations in 2011 to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The launch also coincides with Ada Lovelace Day, globally celebrating all women in STEM. Ada Lovelace is widely recognized as the world’s first computer programmer.
In addition, the REC Foundation will provide 50 new VEX IQ Challenge and VEX Robotics Competition Girl Powered team grants, and a new Online Challenge titled Girl Powered: In Her Words Storybook. Both organizations will offer a selection of marketing and online resources intended to aid coaches, mentors, and parents to further engage young women and girls in robotics.
“The REC Foundation is thrilled to announce Girl Powered in partnership with VEX Robotics to advance girls’ interest in STEM through competitive robotics,” said Jason Morrella, President, REC Foundation. “In business and in education, we know that our toughest challenges are best solved with a diversity of opinion. We all benefit by engaging more young women in competitive robotics as these students will become our future innovators and problem-solvers.”
“The Girl Powered initiative aligns perfectly with the inclusive values on which VEX Robotics was founded,” commented Paul Copioli, President, VEX Robotics, Inc. “This program is a natural extension of where our company is headed and will help ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience the potential of STEM taught through the excitement of robotics.”
Annually, the REC Foundation presents a series of robotics engineering programs that engage students from elementary school through college in the classroom and at after-school competitions in hands-on technology challenges that build their interest in STEM. More than 20,000 teams around the world are expected to compete this season in the VEX IQ Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition, and VEX U. Students have already begun designing, building, and programming robots to compete this season at more than 1,350 local, state, and regional competition events, which culminate in the VEX Robotics World Championship in April.
The REC Foundation is grateful to the partners and teams for their support of the Girl Powered initiative, with activities and events taking place around the world.