Thoughts on being a girl in VEX?

I was just wondering what being a girl in Vex is like for other girls. How do you guys interact with guy team members, or if you’re an all girl team/one girl team, what that’s like. What are some pros and cons of being a girl in Vex?

I’ll start. For pros, there are definitely a lot. I feel like as the only girl that shows up regularly, I have a bit of a different perspective since guys and girls tend to notice other things. Also, the other guys are nice enough and don’t show much of a gender bias. Plus, our sister team tends to be more willing to help us if I ask :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

On the other hand, sometimes boys will be boys. They talk about a lot of stuff that i don’t really follow (cars, mine craft, d&d) not that girls can’t do those things, but I don’t, and I don’t really want to either. Also, it’s annoying when people come in for the first time and automatically assume the boys carry the team, and I just do the notebook, or whatever (which I do, but I do other stuff too! Besides, notebooking is hard!)

But overall, it’s not so bad. I enjoy doing robotics, even though it can be at times a struggle. What about you guys?

27 Likes

To be honest, I kind of hate being a girl here, the boys are sexist and I can’t be friends with any of them and the coach gives me the easiest parts of the robot to work on

2 Likes

i am a boy and i admit i was a jerk in like 7th when i was donig iq i was thinking that i was beter than the girls team because they had cuties(again 7th grade)
but when at the first tournament they whoped our butts at the first comp i asked for help and after that later that season we bolth qualified for worlds
boys arnt beter than girls

15 Likes

I love VEX, but it’s also kind of tough being the only girl around. There are only three other girls in our program of about 40 people. Our club runs through our school, a tech school, which is about 80% male. Love VEX, but we need to be doing more to get girls in outside of that one grant.

6 Likes

Girl Powered Program!
https://www.roboticseducation.org/grant/girl-powered/

3 Likes

I speak for everyone in the community when I say we are sorry you had a tough time getting respect from your peers.

Hopefully people in the greater community aren’t as bad and idiot kids can learn to be better. Best we can do is try to make it better for the next girl that comes along.

28 Likes

That doesn’t sound like a you being a girl problem, it sounds like a terrible team problem. Coach not fulfilling his part by making sure everyone gets the opportunity to learn and experience and a team who doesn’t look out for there own. I’ve seen many guys fall into the same scenario

40 people! Jeez! How many bots are there?

13 Likes

12 this season. We have small teams at my school, only 3 or 4 people at the most. I actually just did the math, and we have about 50 in our high school program and I have no clue how many in our middle school EDR program. It’s a pretty big program because our school doesn’t have sports.

8 Likes

I am confused as to why your coach tells you what to do. In my opinion, that takes away the learning experience of students. Please correct me if I am wrong, as I have not ever had a “coach” per se, but the students on the team should be making decisions, not the coach, right? Also, if you are having a hard time being on the team, you can consider looking for other teams in your area, in which you will get a better engineering experience.

5 Likes

This thread is incredibly relevant to another thread a couple of weeks ago:

Now, situations can differ based upon groups and location. I understand the different situations going on, but there are times where I feel “left out” or “not as important” due to the emphasis of “needing more girls in STEM.” A bit of a controversial statement as well, but almost every meet up after school while I was a part of a school robotics program I was continuously told that I was only competitive because I was white. It was said to me over and over and over again. In addition, during 6th grade while I was in a school in Illinois, I was denied from the robotics program because I had autism until I moved to Texas. But, like always, once everyone starts building and working on their robots it’s no longer about who is what race, what gender, or have a mental or physical abnormality, but just people who are interested in STEM that wish to pursue a STEM future.

13 Likes

VEX robotics has allowed many genders,race,ethic, and other cultural beliefs to come together and do one thing that every loves… Robots. Just with todays world, many people are racist, sexist, or just plain idiots. I am a boy but i believe that gender should not matter for anything. Girls are getting paid less and that is stupid, while on the other hand, crazy feminists are not being supports in females, just being annoying. But in VEX, it is like a home. A home where everybody just wants to have fun and go to worlds. In our schools program, we have a bunch of girls and they do better than most boys. This generation has been introduced to sooooo many problems in/on the internet and all of these sexist/racist jokes. But then on the other hand, NOBODY KNOWS HOW TO TAKE A JOKE!!. This is where a void is. We should all treat people with respect no matter what. It just annoys me when people complain and complain about somebody or something when it was meant to be a joke. Like South Park, That show is Funny but some people think that it is rude but that is the point of the show, to explain and show what is happening in the world in a funny way. So yeah, That is my speech

12 Likes

I thought at the time of that thread (and still think) that this is one of the all-time best gender-related quotes for Vex I’ve heard:

I seriously think that THIS should be their focus, and that it makes for a far better speech on gender equality than any I’ve heard them make officially. I feel like the girl powered push often marginalizes boys (and I say this as the female coach/mentor of my son’s team for 5 years).

As far as being a girl in Vex - if you like to build robots, build robots! There is little stopping anyone interested from using the resources available online to learn everything from design to CAD to coding and on. If possible, get with like-minded people that you are comfortable being around, regardless of gender, and build robots. If options are limited, just be who you are and let others be who they are and build robots (it will happen a lot in life that you just need to do the best you can with what you have). Males and females are all just people - some will be rowdy, some will be calm, some will be snippy, some will be kind… I guarantee that there are just as many females as males in the general population that I’d have trouble connecting with. You already have a connection with everyone there that you can build on, since you all (I assume) like to build robots…

23 Likes

For me, its never been a thought. Girls talk about it being different, but for me it never has been. My dad is our robotics coach, and started VEX when i was in 2nd grade. Id always loved tagging along to competitions and playing with robots, so joining vex for real in 6th grade never really was a question. Most of the guys have always accepted me, and I’ve had guys from other teams or just guys in general say that they find it attractive that i love vex and that i work so hard at it and do so well. (not that i do vex for that, its not the case at all. I do find that a small plus though) Now, there are times that i have gotten underestimated at tournaments or something, because for our region, girls have a bad rep of not being serious about robotics and just kind of goofing off. I usually shut that down pretty quickly though. :slight_smile:

10 Likes

To be honestly I’ve never had a single girl in any of my robotics classes at school. I think girls would certainly think about competition differently then boys (and the boys are constantly getting of topic [see the Vex team quotes for more info])

5 Likes

There’s really no major difference, I’m as competitive as the males in my region.
The guy on my team became my boyfriend eventually, he’s the one constructing the robot while I’m the one cading. Most of the time I explain my idea to him and he test it out, it’s working well so far. I don’t speak a lot while we are working (unless we are discussing the robot) so we seldom get off topic.

16 Likes

I could very well relate to such experience.

It is your first season. All those things like the gear ratios, friction, and c++ functions are foreign to you and everything is very confusing. You work for several months learning how to build and program. Your robot is sketchy but you are trying to do the right thing and score game objects.

At the same time, second year all boys team spends most of their time on the phones playing generals and reading jokes online. A week before the competition they build 8 motor push bot and practice drifting in the hallway, while you struggle to do a simple autonomous.

At the competition you play against them in quarterfinals. They relentlessly pin and push you around and you could not score anything. Your alliance loses.

Then, the next week in school, every time they know you can hear them, they talk among themselves how girls suck at driving. Your friend, who was the driver, breaks down in tears and tells you she is not going to do vex anymore.

It takes parents a lot of comforting to talk her into finishing the first season before dropping out of vex.

I believe more girls will be doing vex if aggressive driving was not very rewarding.

12 Likes

Very little difference. At least in most of MD. people care more about experience level than anything else. I lead my team (all guys), I drive, we work together, we do decently, we improve and that’s that. No real bias. No real problems.

6 Likes

Dang that’s tough. There really has to be something wrong with location. I know places like cali r really good abt including women among other regions. I’ve never really seen a crazy amount of sexism. However, there have been cases in Cali where our coach thought that a group of people (girls and guys) was being sexist towards someone (female) who they were trying to help. Because wage went to the coach, we ended up getting a half hour lecture on sexism (which wasn’t an issue).

So yeah, it’s because of these experiences and others that I haven’t rly seen much sexism I think it may be more of a region based ordeal.

Also, that one thing abt how defensive driving shouldn’t be rewarding, I don’t think there’s a way around that. Strong defense (in any game) is always gonna be a good strategy but it’s always harder and more rewarding to be a good attacker.

That’s my 2 cents. Idk how much this actually applies considering I’m a guy (I’ve felt that in these sorts of issues a woman’s opinion is more valuable seen as the issue is regarding them) but I’m happy to see that at least not everybody is having a bad experience with vex.

4 Likes

Your school/organization must be mean.
In all honesty, guys and girls are equal and a decent amt of the time, girls are more intelligent. However, boys indulge in activities that are more stereotypical of them, so they think they are all good at something bc it related with one point of evidence, but they’re not. I wish everyone in the world was treated equally…

8 Likes

I am not saying that all boys are mean to all girls. I have friends who act as real gentlemen all the time.

My parents always tell me not to pay attention to kids like that team, because bullies must have a lot of insecurities and issues themselves, to pick on someone as vulnerable as my friend.

I am only trying to explain why some of the girls I know, who are good at science, are not doing vex.

They just don’t want to be around those few boys who act like jerks.

10 Likes