Girl Scouts "Tech-Over" Robotics Competition

Girl Scouts of the USA and FIRST continue to inspire interest in science and technology through competition


April 16, 2009

Girl Scouts of the USA
Michelle Tompkins
Phone: (212) 852-5074

Atlanta, Ga. – On April 16th-18th six Girl Scout teams from around the country will travel to the Georgia Dome to participate in the 2009 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championship. The girls will compete against more than 10,000 students, from middle school and high school, in a robotics contest that teaches young people to address engineering and design problems in a creative and collaborative way.

Last year, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced a partnership with FIRST as part of the organization's commitment to inspiring more girls and young women to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. The partnership was designed to foster opportunities for girls to explore STEM by providing hands-on experience in the designing, building and programming of robots while applying the concept of 'gracious professionalism' during competition. The partnership is made possible through support from the Motorola Foundation.

"In an ever-changing economy there is a growing demand for critical thinkers," remarked GSUSA Chief of Staff, Jaclyn Libowitz. "Through programs like FIRST and our other STEM initiatives, we're showing girls that not only can they be successful in math and science, but they can also be leaders in those fields."

Teams who qualified for the FIRST Championship include:


FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge)

FRC (FIRST Robotics Challenge)

In addition to the FIRST partnership, the Girl Scouts help girls navigate technology through other opportunities like LMK (text speak for Let Me Know), an online safety campaign created in partnership with Microsoft Windows.

"We're excited to be able to continue our partnership with the Girl Scouts" said Paul Gudonis, FIRST President. "Through their innovation, teamwork and leadership, the Girl Scout teams that have advanced to the Championship are showing other young people that science can be rewarding and fun."

Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, initiating formal robotics competitions in 1992. The Manchester, N.H. - based non-profit, designs accessible, innovative programs which build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through corporate sponsorship and volunteerism from companies like Johnson and Johnson and Motorola, FIRST organizes several competitions inspiring K-12 youth into STEM education and career exploration: FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high-school students, the FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) for children 9-14 years old, and the Junior FIRST LEGO® League (JFLL) for six- to nine-year-olds. To learn more about FIRST, visit www.usfirst.org.

About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.4 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.