Global Female Robotics Nonprofit Plants Roots in San Antonio

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Global Female Robotics Nonprofit Plants Roots in San Antonio

Nearly three years ago, Women in Robotics started a grassroots initiative to bring more female talent into the tech industry, specifically in the male-dominated robotics field. Now a global nonprofit network, the group is starting its newest chapter in San Antonio.

The San Antonio chapter of Women in Robotics (WiR) is the group’s only one in Texas.

Home to a fast-growing tech industry and longstanding learning institutions, the city was an ideal place for the group to grow, according to Stephanie Garcia, business development and communications specialist for Port San Antonio, which helped stand up the San Antonio effort.

The percentage of women in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — and more specifically robotics has been historically low, according to census data, but Women in Robotics is hoping to be a part of that change. 

The group’s goal is “to bring together a community that was siloed at one point,” Garcia said, adding that the tech industry in the past was insular and hard to break into, especially for women.

San Antonio’s WiR chapter will host panels and exhibits, host industry- and school-based robotics competitions and provide opportunities for mentorship through nonprofits like FIRST Robotics and Girls Inc. of San Antonio.

One of the program’s biggest goals is to “connect and engage with younger females,” Garcia said. The group aims to serve students locally throughout schools in the San Antonio area, beginning with Lutheran High School of San Antonio, which is a part of the FIRST Robotics program.

“There’s a place for everyone in robotics,” she added. The group’s website notes that nonbinary people are welcome in its various chapters.

WiR has already begun the work spearheading new efforts with schools like Lutheran, where students gain the chance to start their path into STEM while being mentored by a professional in the industry. Mentors both locally and across the country make themselves available to the students, who get to participate in activities like programming and fabricating robots in competitive settings.

26-01-2023 373 Views


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