At the end of February during National Engineers Week is a day that one local team finds extra special.
G-Force Robotics, a high school robotics team and SWENext club (Society of Women Engineers) located in Clayton, N.C., celebrated National Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023 by inviting local elementary and middle school girls to their build space to showcase how engineering principles are a major part of their FIRST Robotics Competition team. One Neuse Charter sophomore helped found the team and was excited to showcase girls in STEM.
Sydney Matisoff, a sophomore at NCS, has been involved in robotics for 5 years. As a marketer for the all-girl, high school team G-Force Robotics, she was excited to share her team’s mission and skillset with other girls from Neuse Charter and from schools across the county.
Ten young girls from Neuse Charter, Pine Level Elementary, River Dell Elementary, Archer’s Lodge Middle, Cleveland Middle, North Johnston Middle, American Leadership Academy and the homeschooling community joined the young women of G-Force to learn about their present season’s robot, and to learn a little about the tools and design functions they use to build their robots.
“They helped us take off our old shooter mechanism, basically hex collars and motors,” said Shelby Anderson, mechanical team for G-Force. “They used allen wrenches and screwdrivers to help us take it apart. Most had never used these tools before so it was a good introduction.”
The team was joined by two of their female mentors who are both engineers. Kendra Gregg, a design engineer with Caterpillar, and Callie Daniel, a process engineer with Novo Nordisk, were on-hand to help and talk about their careers.
Daniel stressed the fact that the girls should always ask questions telling them that there are no bad questions and it is always important to seek answers. “If we influenced one girl today that is worth it,” said Daniel. “That one girl could have a career in engineering because of meeting these other girls who are also interested in engineering, robots and overall STEM topics.”
G-Force started last year and has been busy influencing younger students through several STEM-aimed outreach programs, and through volunteer service in their community. More recently they have been preparing for their first district robotics competition which will be held in Wake County at Rolesville High School on March 11-12, 2023.
“It is important for us to inspire and encourage these younger girls so they know that they can do it too,” said Matisoff. “Younger girls need role models and mentors showing them what is possible. Our mentors help us see what we are capable of doing, and we want to share that message with other girls .”
Learn more about G-Force Robotics at: https://gforcerobotics.com/