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Society of Women Engineers

FIRST Team PHEnix 6214 Builds Robots and Promising Futures

On Team PHEnix #6214, we strive to improve how we work together as a team to better tackle the demands of the competition.

Published On: February 2018

We asked our SWE-Sponsored FIRST teams to update us on their progress. Team PHEnix #6214 from Burgaw, NC has 32 members, 18 girls and 14 boys.

Team PHEnix works to inspire young people to become leaders by  serving as STEM ambassadors in our community. We speak with local principals about the benefits of FIRST. We also volunteer to lead STEM activities and demonstrate our robot at middle and elementary schools. Now that we are in our third year, we are able to act as mentors to rookie FIRST teams and to students in Guatemala who aspire to have their own robotics team.

From the beginning, we have been an inclusive and diverse team. PHEnix’s origin story started with a rag tag group of teens from three different Pender County high schools–Pender High, Heidi Trask High, and Early College High School. These students, though different, all shared a passion for engineering.Today PHEnix is evenly composed of males and females, and students from a variety of ethnic backgrounds (Hispanic/Latino American, African American, Asian American, and European American).

On this team, we do not just build robots, we build lifelong friendships. Every year we strive to improve how we work together as a team to better tackle the demands of the competition. This year we introduced stand-up meetings, and it has improved our ability to communicate with one another. From fundraising to building, communication is essential to solving challenges and meeting goals.

This year our robot has to be able to move crates, deliver them to the top of a scale or onto a switch, and be able to climb a small tower. After much time spent designing on SolidWorks and prototyping, we have been able to construct the base of the robot, and install the wiring. Our next challenge is tackling the climbing mechanism.

PHEnix is excited about the work we are doing this season, but what we look forward to most is seeing where this robot team goes. We will continue to grow, spreading sparks of inspiration throughout our community, because we are team PHEnix; and together, we rise.

Want to see Team PHEnix light it up? Catch us on social media or on our websites!

PHEnix website:,

Booster website:,

Facebook @PCSTEAMBooster, Instagram pcsteam_booster,

Twitter @PCSTEAM_Booster

SWE has awarded grants to 10 FIRST Robotics Competition teams for the 2018 season through its Gender Diversity Grant, funded by the Motorola Solutions Foundation. Each team received a $1,000 grant in recognition of its focused efforts in creating equity, inclusion, and diversity on their roster and for including underrepresented and underserved populations in their recruiting efforts.

Sponsored by:
BP – My Achievements
Brown – Executive Master
SWE – Diverse Podcast