Record number of girls enroll in robotics

Benjamin Most

The upper school robotics course has nine girls and four boys this year, with three times as many girls enrolled as last year.

Robotics has historically had more boys than girls, robotics teacher Antonio Nassar said. Previously a club, robotics became an official class last year, though extracurricular club meetings continued as well. Last year, boys greatly outnumbered girls with three girls and 13 boys enrolled in the class.

Nassar said that he does not know if robotics will attract girls and boys in the same proportion as this year in the future, but he said that he hopes that the trend of more girls joining the class and the club will continue.

“In the past, it seemed to be literally a boys’ club,” Nassar said. “But as time went on, as soon as there were one or two girls, more of them began to join. I don’t know if there is just a spike or this will be on average, but it’s really remarkable.”

Robotics co-captain Paula Lahera ’16 said that she thinks an increase of girls in the club will help the team’s performance in their numerous competitions taking place this year.

“Girls and boys sometimes have a different approach to problem solving and management, and it is good to have different perspectives in the club,” Lahera said.

Other science courses have not reflected this trend. Studies in Scientific Research, for example, has only male students.

Even so, Lahera said she believes girls will continue to join other science courses and pursue careers in STEM in the future.

“As people stop thinking that STEM is something for boys only, more girls will continue to get involved in classes and careers like robotics and engineering,” Lahera said.