As the only four females on the NYAN team, seniors Meghan Novak and Terri Brinkman, junior Rachel Blaha, and freshman Mary Titterton are programming apps and constructing robots. Although Carmel has a Women in STEM club, the club membership is different from being a member of the robotics team. Not only because of the process of getting on the team, but also because women don’t always sign up for more mechanic or engineering classes.
“Being a female in engineering is very different from being a female in STEM,” senior Terri Brinkman said. “Recently there has been a big push to include more women in STEM classes and fields. However, not many women are pursuing more mechanic disciplines such as robotics. There is definitely the sense that robotics is a male-dominated area.”
In the lab, the NYAN robotics team works on fun projects and prepares for competitions of all sizes. Whether they are uploading Velocity Vortex to the app store, or building a working BB-8 replica, NYAN works hard to earn their place in state; they even made it to the World Championship last year.
Brinkman has only been to state once, yet she believes that the world of robotics is becoming more diverse.
“While there are fewer women than men in the robotics community,” Brinkman said, “I think women are still represented well. It was very cool to see the different teams at the worlds competition because a lot of teams either had females as captains or as drivers.”