Female students participate in girls-only robotics competition

By Priya Mann - Reporter

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. - Bloomfield Hills High School hosted an offseason FIRST Robotics Competition for girls on high school robotics teams Saturday afternoon.

Thirty-two all-female teams from across Michigan and one team that traveled from Indiana to participate.

Fans cheered for their classmates as robots went head-to head in the arena. The machines were designed, built and driven exclusively by female students.

The competition helps recruit young female engineers and encourages high school girls to take on technical and leadership roles in a competitive environment.

"This is the craziest thing I've ever done," said Jane Jacobs, a senior at International Academy. "I think it's amazing to have this opportunity every year to let girls who may not have the opportunity during the season to get their hands dirty and more involved."

The robots are designed to stack as many boxes as possible in under two minutes.

The girls-only competition is major stepping stone for those interested in engineering. Ellen Green won the state championship three years ago and is now an engineering student at the University of Michigan.

"When I first started driving, my mentor made me get an eye checked to get glasses because of how bad I was," Green said. "I ended up going into the final match my junior year."

The registration for the competition was free and proceeds from the pizza and concessions sales went to help pay for four $1,000 scholarships for four seniors.

For more information about FIRST Robotics Competitions, visit firstinmichigan.org.

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