Beyond the Cave

Lady Bears Robotics

Sophomore Grace Maxson works alongside other robotics members to update the Robotics notebook, a daily log of their activities.

Charlie Bendix, Reporter

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In the past, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields have been male dominated. Recently, there have been campaigns and other measures taken to change that. An example of this is the television series “Project Mc2,” which focuses on teenage girls pursuing their scientific interests. This series prompted the creation of several dolls which come with an experiment for little girls to conduct while they play. Even after all the money put into changing public opinion of STEM pursuits, most programs have seen little progress. Slowly but surely, the Summerville High Robotics club is working to include more female members.

There are currently two female members in the robotics club on the build team, where they help construct the team’s robot, Stanley.

Sophomore Grace Maxson is a first year member of the club and one of the members of the build team. When asked about her motivation for joining the team, Grace cited her pre-existing interest in the subject.

“I really like robotics and I’ve always wanted to build robots and that kind of thing,” Grace said.

Charlie Bendix
Grace Maxson works alongside other robotics members to update the Robotics notebook, a daily log of their activities. Grace is one of the only female members of the build team. As a first year member of the team, she does not have as many responsibilities as other members, but she is quickly learning the ropes.

There are several female team members on the outreach team, whose jobs are to help support the team and handle media relations. Senior Wylie Hoyt, one of the team’s co-captains, explained the duties of these members.

“Katie, Grace and Calista help out with cheering, notebook and other sorts of things,” Hoyt said.

Although the outreach members do not play as large of a role in the competition or the meetings, they are equally valued by the other members.

Charlie Bendix
Katie Maxson photographs Stanley, the robot used in this years competition. As a member of the outreach team, Katie specializes in promoting the club and media relations. She once wrote a newspaper article detailing the accomplishments of the robotics team for the Union Democrat.

Senior Katie Maxson believes that the lack of females in the robotics club is not the fault of the club itself, but rather society’s view of the subject.

“It is seen more as a nerdy guy thing, and not as a coed thing,”  Katie said.

She also said that the way female members are treated is based on ability and seniority rather than gender, just like their male counterparts.

“A fourth year student isn’t going to be treated the same as a first year student, and vice versa,” Katie  said. “But I don’t think Gracie is getting treated any differently than other first year students.”

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Lady Bears Robotics