Robogals

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Robogals
Robogals Logo.svg
Founded 14 July 2008[1]
Type Non-profit organisation
Location
Coordinates 37°47′55″S 144°57′42″E / 37.7985°S 144.9618°E / -37.7985; 144.9618Coordinates: 37°47′55″S 144°57′42″E / 37.7985°S 144.9618°E / -37.7985; 144.9618
Area served
Australia, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Philippines, New Zealand, China
Members
4,713[2]
Key people
Marita Cheng, founder
Mark Parncutt, co-founder
Lizzie Brown, chair
Nicole Brown, CEO
Mandy Jor, COO
Julie Boulton CDO.
Slogan "Inspire, engage and empower young women into engineering and related fields."
Website robogals.org

Robogals is an international student-run organisation that aims to inspire, engage and empower young women to consider studying engineering and related fields. Its primary activity is interactive, engineering based workshops for girls aged between 8-18 (depending on location).[3] Robogals has chapters at 31 universities across Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, China, South Africa, New Zealand, and the Philippines. These chapters fall into three regions - Robogals Asia Pacific, Robogals EMEA (Europe, Middle East, & Africa), and Robogals North America.[4]

Robogals also run a range of other activities around this central theme. Past events have included a robotics competition (2008), a mass robot dance that attracted significant media coverage (2009), a robot artwork exhibition, science fair (2010), the Robogals Science Challenge (2012-) and the Robogals Challenge in the UK (2015-).

The organisation is predominately run by university student volunteers, including at the global headquarters in Melbourne, Australia with the Leadership Team of Robogals based around the world.

Robogals is funded through the support and partnerships with key engineering related companies around the world such as: Beck Engineering, Telstra, Modern Teaching Aids, Worley Parsons, ACA, Department of Defence (Australia) and AbiGroup.

Robogals' achievements have been recognised on an international level with the awarding of an Anita Borg Change Agent Award by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.[5] Robogals founder Marita Cheng was named the 2012 Young Australian of the Year.

History[edit]

Robogals was founded as a student club at the University of Melbourne in July 2008 by mechatronics engineering undergraduate student Marita Cheng, together with software engineering student Mark Parncutt and three other engineering and science students, Kelly Chiu, Ann Chee Lim and Vi Vu.[6] The idea initially came from efforts by one of Cheng's professors, Jamie Evans, to teach robotics at Lauriston Girls' School as a way to encourage more girls to study engineering.

Following its initial successes in Melbourne, the organisation was expanded throughout Australia in 2009 by inviting female engineering students from four more universities around Australia to a three-day "Bootcamp" at the University of Melbourne where they learned how to run a Robogals chapter back at their home university.[7][8] It is also helpful if the students have support from their faculty for establishing a Robogals chapter on their campus.[9] This process has been repeated several times since then Robogals has expanded to 31 universities worldwide as of 2015.

Activities[edit]

Engineering workshops[edit]

Robogals' primary activity is running engineering based workshops, either in schools or by having the schools visit the uni; the workshops are aim to inspire gender diversity in engineering by engaging girls and guys in a range engineering topics. These topics are selected by the volunteers running the sessions to reflect their own interest in the field. Robogals volunteers are university students, including male and female, who teach school girls the basics of engineering; an example of this is through the use of robotics and programming using LEGO Mindstorms EV3 and NXT kits. Lessons can range between 1 hour to a full day and can consist of multiple types of workshops.the robot to move, use the sensors and perform specific tasks.

The workshops are run by the local university chapter, which liaises with schools to arrange visits, and arranges for trained volunteers to run the workshops.

Community events[edit]

Robogals Melbourne held a Science and Engineering Expo in August 2010, partnered with National Science Week,[10] attended by girls schools and a few individual families.[11] In 2010, Robogals Perth went on an excursion to Kalgoorlie to demonstrate to school students as part of the seventh annual Science Awareness Festival by Scitech. In March 2011, Robogals London had a stall at the Big Bang Fair.[12]

In 2009, Robogals' Guinness World Record attempt for the 'largest robot dance'[13] received coverage on national television.[14] Over 300 dancers/students turned up at the event on 29 September 2009 at the University of Melbourne.[15]

The Robots Are Coming was an exhibition built by art and design students, held from 6–11 September 2010 of 5 life-size robots at a transportation hub in central Sydney.[16] The event functioned as street art, inviting pedestrians to reflect on 'the impact of technology in today's society'.[17][18] Over hundreds of thousands of pedestrians had lunch alongside the robots, or stopped to admire them.

2015 also saw the Robogals EMEA region join the BBC Tour across the UK [19]

SINE[edit]

The annual conference in each region, known as a SINE (Seminars Inducting New Executive-committees) brings together the organisation's executive committee members in a region, focussing mainly on training the new committee members; it is the primary means of expanding Robogals to new universities.[20] The meetings during the early Robogals expansion stages (in 2009 and early 2010) were called "Bootcamps", but since late 2010 have been called SINEs.

Past conferences have included:[21]

Upcoming conferences:

  • Robogals AP SINE 2016,

Organisational structure[edit]

Robogals Global (incorporated as Robogals Ltd[23]), based in Melbourne, Australia, is the parent body of the chapters. It was created to oversee and mentor all the chapters of Robogals, and to facilitate worldwide expansion plans. Robogals is divided into regions, each with several chapters.[24] The chapters operate as independent student clubs, with some degree of autonomy in deciding what activities to pursue, but must at the very least offer the core engineering workshop program in schools.

Robogals Asia Pacific, with chapters at Australian National University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales, University of Newcastle, University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, University of Western Australia, University of Tasmania, Peking University, Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan and Monash University.
Robogals Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), formerly, UK & Europe, with chapters at Imperial College London, Loughborough University, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Exeter, University of Manchester, University of Southampton, University of St Andrews, University of Sussex, University of Leeds and University of Cape Town.
Robogals North America, with chapters at California Institute of Technology, Columbia University, Queen's University, York University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Toronto and Wellesley College.

Key people[edit]

The founders of Robogals are Marita Cheng and Mark Parncutt; they also held the positions of Executive Director and Operations Director respectively until the end of 2012.

Since 2013, Nicole Brown has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Robogals Global.

Currently the leadership team of Robogals consist of the following people:

  • Nicole Brown- Chief Executive Officer
  • Julie Boulton- Chief Development Officer
  • Mandy Jor- Chief Operations Officer
  • Chelsea Edmonds- Regional Executive Officer of Asia Pacific
  • Emily Heffernan- Regional Executive Officer of North America
  • Yusra Hussain- Regional Executive Officer of Europe, Middle East, Africa

The Robogals Board of Directors consists of:

  • Lizzie Brown (Chair)
  • Fiona Borelli
  • Jamie Evans
  • Erin Kelly
  • Dayle Stevens
  • Mark Parncutt
  • Marita Cheng
  • Nicole Brown (CEO)
  • Nathan Chan (CFO & Company Secretary)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Current details for 91 316 998 421". Australian Business Register. Retrieved 18 Jan 2012. 
  2. ^ Number of members according to https://my.robogals.org/chapters/global/; Retrieved on 26 May 2015
  3. ^ "Robogals Brings Engineering to Girls, ECSWomen Brings Robogals". ECSWomen. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  4. ^ http://www.robogals.org/our-network/chapter-locations
  5. ^ "Marita Cheng". Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Robogals Smash Robot Dancing Record". University of Melbourne Advancement Office. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Marita Cheng - Robogal 25 UNDER 25 + smashin' it! triple j". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Meet a Sandboxer: Marita Cheng". Sandbox Network. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Robogals UK funding proposal" (PDF). Imperial College Union. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Robogals to the Rescue". Herald Sun. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Robogal's (sic) Engineering and Science Expo". Re-Science. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  12. ^ p. 27, "The Big Bang Show Guide". Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Melbourne University Students Set Robot Dancing World Record". Herald Sun. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  14. ^ The 7PM Project, Channel 10, 29 September 2009
  15. ^ "Robot Dance World Record Broken". NineMSN. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  16. ^ The Robots Are Coming
  17. ^ "In Sydney: The Robots Came... and Went". ASAM Melbourne. 18 September 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "The Robots Are Coming". VibeWire. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  19. ^ http://www.robogals-emea.org/?page_id=54
  20. ^ "Cairns Student Takes the Road Less Travelled". A Force for Southern Cairns. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "Conferences". Robogals. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "Robogals Southampton host annual conference for UK executive induction". ECS, Joyce Lewis. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Current details for 91 316 998 421". Australian Business Register. Retrieved 18 Jan 2012. 
  24. ^ "Organisational Structure". Robogals. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 

External links[edit]