We asked our SWE-Sponsored FIRST teams to update us on their progress. The Pitt Pirates are from Greenville, NC.
Team 2642 is excited about this year’s FIRST® Robotics Competition game, FIRST® POWER UP. In this year’s game, two alliances of video game characters are trapped inside a video game. In order to escape the game, alliances can collect and place power cubes on the scale and switches to earn points for their alliance. Throughout the match, power cubes can be exchanged for one of three power ups that provide varying advantages to the alliances throughout the match. At the end of each match, the robots can fight the boss by ascending to the top tower to earn additional points for the alliance.
We are currently in the midst of a busy six-week build season. During this time, the robot for this year’s game is designed, engineered, and programmed from start to finish. The engineering team is busy at work in constructing the mechanism that will allow the robot to climb and face the boss. The safety team’s main priority is to ensure that throughout the experience everyone does his or her duties in a safe and productive manner. We like to spread safety to all the FIRST teams, at competition or online by regularly posting YouTube videos on safe tool use and safety procedures. The marketing team has been working hard to implement a new tradition of weekly spotlights for members, alumni, mentors, and sponsors. Through this tradition, Team 2642 is able to recognize just a few of those who make Pitt Pirates who they are.
Who We Are
The involvement of women on Team 2642 is an important part of who we are. We are lucky to have such a high rate of female involvement at 29% of our 39-member team. Our presence of women has contributed to all female marketing and social media teams, a design team that is 80% female, and 50% of our programming team is female. Within Team 2642, female leaders lead five of our departmental teams! When speaking with design team lead, Kelsey Law, about being a team leader, she said, “It is empowering to be a female team leader because people actually listen to you.”
Another large part of our team is dedicated to our mentors that spend countless hours alongside us to aid and guide us to be a better team. We are proud to say that over half of Pitt Pirates’ mentors are female, spanning over six departments.
What We Do
As a whole, Team 2642 strives to promote and inspire STEM in Eastern North Carolina. We accomplish this by a variety of outreach events and appearances. One of our most involved outreach events is through FIRST® Lego League (FLL). Pitt Pirates is actively involved in developing FLL in Eastern North Carolina. Five years ago, we created an annual FLL Regional Tournament in Greenville, NC. We have also established FLL grant opportunities, matched teams with mentors and created professional development opportunities to assist in developing new team and sustaining established teams.
Our team is passionate about advocating for women in STEM-related fields, and we use FIRST® as an avenue to accomplish this. Team 2642 created the first chapter of SWENext by a FIRST® team, an achievement that we are proud to have!
Now that you have learned a little bit about who we are, feel free to check out our website at pittpiratesrobotics.com!
SWE has awarded grants to 10 FIRST Robotics Competition teams for the 2018 season through its Gender Diversity Grant, funded by the Motorola 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.