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Google Expands Support for Girls in STEM

Exploring hands-on challenges in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is increasing girls’ interest in engineering robots for competitions, according to initial data from Girl Powered, a global movement launched by The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and VEX Robotics, and supported by Google.

Google is expanding its partnership with the REC Foundation by supporting a new series of Girl Powered Workshops, with the first workshop being held March 16-17 from 9 am-5 pm (GST) at its headquarters in Seattle.

The two-day workshop in Seattle will feature Google employees helping students build VEX EDR robots and put them to the test with the VEX Robotics Competition Turning Point game challenge.

Since Girl Powered launched in 2016, female participation in VEX Robotics has increased steadily from 23 percent in 2016 to 37 percent in 2018. Girl Powered aims to change the face of STEM, as females only represent 24 percent of the STEM workforce in the U.S.

Future Girl Powered workshops are being planned for this summer in Boston, MA; Austin, TX; and Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

Google also supports The REC Foundation by sponsoring an online challenge for Girl Powered VEX Robotics participants in elementary, middle school and high school. This year’s online challenge asked students to share how they have created a more inclusive environment on their team.

The top prize, a $750 vexrobotics.com gift certificate and automatic team qualification for the 2019 VEX Robotics World Championship, was awarded on March 10, 2019, for the VEX IQ Challenge category to Team 10142A, Green Tiger from Honolulu, HI and for the VEX Robotics Competition category to Team 7983W, Centennial Cyberhawks from Bakersfield, CA.

For National Women’s History Month, Girl Powered is honoring female accomplishments in STEM history with a new line of Girl Powered T-shirts. The T-shirts feature the Girl Powered logo and inspirational quotes from female STEM heroes, with 20 percent of sales supporting Girl Powered programs. For more information, visit: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/VEX-Robotics/girl+powered?q=T292261.