Shiv Venkataraman, VP, Engineering, Search Ads, at Google was introduced to competitive robotics seven years ago when his son developed an interest with his friends. Shortly after, his daughter also became interested in robotics. Shiv noticed the differences on how STEM was introduced to boys versus girls. Because of this, he wanted to help level the playing field and make it easier for girls to be introduced and develop a passion for STEM.
Last year, Shiv and fellow Googlers hosted a Girl Powered workshop with 200 girls and eventually partnering with the Girl Scouts of Northern California. An after-school program was developed where middle and high school age girls work on their robots with Google volunteers and prepare for several competitions. They just wrapped up their first year of the program, with 68 girls participating across 11 teams.
Workshops like the one hosted at Google, help to give girls the confidence to pursue STEM fields and allow students to network with others that share the same common interests. The diversity gap in STEM fields can be an intimidating societal obstacle for young women to overcome especially for students who are just jumping into the world of robotics. With the rising support for Girl Powered from Google and other tech giants, we are giving these girls a chance to become interested in STEM and robotics before ever having an alternative perspective.
This year with the growing awareness, and help from Shiv and his team, there were over 550 girls in attendance at the recent Google Girl Powered workshop! These young women had the chance to build robots and experience a competition, attend an inspiring keynote comprised of successful women in STEM, and engage in several activities and sessions throughout the weekend.
We are so thankful that Google finds value in initiatives like Girl Powered. During the event, student, Anisha Grover said it best, “The truth is that girls can do, like, anything. Anything that they put their mind to.”
Read the full article here: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/08/12/girl-powered-robotics-workshop-at-google-builds-skills-confidence/.