This year, International Women’s Day is March 8, 2021. This year we asked a few of the current team members for a few of their thoughts on the RoboRavens team.
How long have you been a RoboRaven?
Angela: I just joined last year.
Elena: This is my second year on the team.
Aashna: 4 years!!!
Brogahn: I was on the team for 3 years but I plan on continuing to mentor.
Neeharika: I have been one for 4 years.
Marjorie: 3rd year as a mentor, 3 years before that as a fan and team minivan driver and 2 before that on the sidelines unaware of what my oldest son was doing! Yes, both of my son’s were on the team; one in programming the other on the build team.
How does being a part of the RoboRavens impact your career path?
Angela: It opens new opportunities for my future since it is a part of STEM. It made me more interested in science, technology, etc.
Elena: Now more than ever I am convinced that I want to be in engineering, especially software engineering and I am more interested in going towards autonomous software development.
Brogahn: My whole life I have been into science and I came into Robotics already liking STEM. I feel like the RoboRavens really helped me push forward onto more challenging goals and gave me the confidence to apply for more competitive university programs.
Aashna: After joining the RoboRavens, joining the team for events has allowed me to choose a career path that will lead me into engineering in the future and the people that I have met here have shown me different ways to do things and learn software in programs that I never would have on my own.
Neeharika: I have never really known what I want to do, although I am still unsure, the RoboRavens helped me narrow down some career paths. There might be a possibility where I don’t pursue engineering specifically (building aspect) but I have learned so much from the team.
Marjorie: My career was well established before this but at my workplace, volunteering is highly encouraged and supporting STEM is even more so.
What would you say you gained by being a member of the team?
Angela: I gained teamwork skills and I made a lot of new friends too. I learned programming also! I am proud to be a part of the team. Yup!
Elena: I definitely gained more programming and problem-solving skills but along with that I also learned a lot of teamwork and communication skills for sure.
Brogahn: When I joined this team, I was in grade 10 and I had few friends and not many passions but after joining the team now I have a family + many friends. It gave me a place to belong everyday. I got the ability to network with people no matter their standing and to advocate for people that were shy as myself when I first started (not to mention all of the technical skills).
Aashna: The experience that I have gained from being in robotics has been priceless. I also gained connections for the future which will allow me to further my career as I grow and choose the specific feel that I want to go into. There are many friendships that I’ve also gained over the years that I will never lose. The friendships that I have made in robotics are the ones that I will always cherish and will never lose.
Neeharika: Soooo many bonds with people that I never knew before and going away with those people on trips gave me such a positive experience. The environment is so up-energy and welcoming. I look forward to competitions every year!
Marjorie: It’s an opportunity to give back to my community. It’s a way to stay young while hanging out with all of these high school kids. You get an appreciation for the work that is involved in putting together a team that competes at FIRST. My role as a mentor puts me in a unique position being the only female mentor in the team. I believe that I am seen as a role model by the team. I show them that women have just as much right to be active in traditionally male dominated fields and women are able to give a unique perspective and it makes these fields richer because of it.
What advice would you give to young women considering joining the RoboRavens?
Angela: Just do it.
Elena: Don’t think twice about it, just do it
Brogahn: Do it.
Aashna: As a Nickelodeon star would say, Just do it!
Neeharika: DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST TRY IT!
Marjorie: JOIN! JOIN!! JOIN!!! The team really means it when it says no experience is required and everyone is encouraged to find their niche of what they like to do. Your first pick may not be right for you but that is okay, you can change your mind and do something else.
What are/is your greatest memories while being a part of the RoboRavens?
Angela: Making new friends and learning new things. Probably the best moment will be at the competition.
Elena: Something that will stick with me forever are the long nights we spent together and when we eat dinner together as a family truly those are times that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Brogahn: Every night before leaving I yell out “bye kids!” and hearing the chorus of voices responding, knowing I will see them all again tomorrow. Also the moment of sitting down after spending 10+ hours in the pit and having the team around me, knowing exactly what I just went through without saying a word.
Aashna: Oh my god! My favourite memory from being in robotics is when everyone gathers around at seven to eat food and we all remember and we all get together after being separated into our sub-teams as a team and we eat dinner as a team.
Neeharika: Definitely the North Bay trip last year. We won the Team Spirit award and it was just such a fun experience. The bus ride back was so fun. Also figuring out we made it to provincials was one of the greatest experiences because we never made it before.
Marjorie: As a mentor, getting the opportunity to go to provincials was such a high for the team. As a mother of two boys and a female in a male dominated field of work, I was thrilled to see the number of girls that were participating and how many were in the leadership positions. Over the past 7 years that my family has been around the team, there have been 4 girls as the team captains and we are around 30-40 percent of the team are girls. I am so excited for these young women and their futures.