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Society of Women Engineers

The Midnight Mechanics Are Heading to Houston!

One of our SWE-sponsored FIRST Robotics Competition teams won a regional event and will now advance to the FIRST Championship in Houston. 

Published On: March 2018

One of our SWE-sponsored FIRST Robotics Competition teams won a regional event and will now advance to the FIRST Championship in Houston. 

By Shaoni Bandyopadhyay
Teacher, Science 7 and 8, University Prep 10
The Preuss School

Thank you again for your support of Team 812! I wanted to let you know that we won the Orange County Regional and will be going to Championships in Houston! This week is our Spring Break, but immediately after break we plan to put together a “thank you video” so you can share with your SWE members. In the meantime, we are working fast to try to secure funding for registration and travel/lodging.

Below are a few photos of our team members wearing their SWE shirts! We all wore our shirts the first day of competition.

Team 812: The Midnight Mechanics

We are honored to be selected as a recipient of the SWE Gender Diversity Grant. Team 812, the first team in San Diego, was founded in 2001 by Rob Mainieri, the first national Woodie Flowers winner west of the Mississippi. We receive consistent support from our school, The Preuss School UCSD, a Title I school designed for low-income students, who aspire to be the first in their families to attend a four year university. Our team proudly holds a near 1:1 female to male ratio, and currently represents over 9 ethnic and linguistic minorities from all over San Diego county.

Our Philosophy

Our mission, developed through FIRST, is to help everyone recognize that they have the potential to pursue STEAM and the capability to initiate change from within. Utilizing the philosophy of “students teaching students,” the last few years we worked to change the discourse of STEAM, education, and adversity in underserved communities.

Outreach in the School and Local Community

One of our big projects has been our annual Girls in STEAM Conference. To inspire our middle school girls at Preuss to pursue FIRST and careers in STEAM, we refined and expanded our Girls in STEAM Conference over the course of the past three years. Our three workshops consist of: speed mentoring, where female professionals meet with girls in rotating 10 minute sessions, an engineering workshop, and lastly, mentorship from Preuss peer counselors to invigorate empowerment through critical dialogue pivotal to a girl’s growth. In an effort to better share our conference for other teams to replicate, and Girls in STEAM efforts in San Diego, we have launched a new website,

Watch videos, see additional photos, and learn more about the Midnight Mechanics in this blog post.

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