In November, we announced our collaboration with FIRST Robotics and Apple Inc. to support diversity and inclusion in FIRST Robotics competitions.
Our initial goal was to create and support new SWENext clubs competing in 2022. Existing clubs and newly formed teams were encouraged to quickly take advantage of the generous grant opportunity. To better support underrepresented students in the engineering community, we set inclusive group guidelines and opened the doors for more students to compete.
Partnering with Apple, we worked to offset the costs of registering for a competition – including materials! The startup costs of building a team can range from $3500 to $5000, often creating an obstacle for groups with limited resources.
Originally hoping to support ten groups, our collaboration was able to sponsor a total of fifteen!
Please join us in giving a big congratulations to our SWENext robotics teams:
- Team Spyder & PHS SWENext
- Plus Ultra Robotics
- Leland Robotics FRC 604 Quixilver
- f(x) Robotics
- Bit Buckets Robotics
- STEMfluenceHER Robotics Team
- Pitt Pirates
- Ladies FIRST
- Joebotics II
- Ipswich TIGERS
Leading with a mission to promote inclusion and gender equity, we required teams applying for funding to be 40% female-identifying. We’re also encouraging girls to join SWENext clubs by asking teams to be at least half SWENexters. Competitions are approaching soon and we can’t wait to cheer them on!
SWE Executive Director Karen Horting is thrilled to “encourage girls within the FIRST community to be a part of SWENext,” and excited to provide a vital network of support as they develop their STEM identities.
As a member of SWENext, girls have access to resources and mentors that welcome them into the engineering community. Mentors help the girls build confidence, give career guidance, and are supportive role models. Like SWENext, FIRST works to empower students and provide critical career resources.
Every year, FIRST Robotics holds exciting competitions known as “sports for the mind” where students get real-life engineering experience. They have a chance to show off their skills, learn new techniques, and connect with mentors!
We’d like to thank our partners, Apple Inc and FIRST Robotics, for their generous efforts in helping us create better opportunities for students. We would also like to thank SWE members who reached out to support the future of robotics.
If you have a passion for robotics and enjoy working with your peers, click here for more information on entering future competitions and to learn about SWENext Clubs!