On February 16, ARC 6014, a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team composed of RC students excited about engineering and technology, hosted the In//equality in STEM conference and design thinking workshop to draw attention and find solutions to inequalities in STEM fields in collaboration with RAMs 7729, the FRC team from VKV Koç High School.
Aware of inequalities caused by gender biases, economic impossibilities and prejudices in STEM, the students invited expert speakers to RC in order to raise the awareness of their peers. Among the speakers were Mete Atatüre, professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge; Melek Pulatkonak, founder of TurkishWIN, a networking and cooperation organization for women; futurist Murat Şahin; Social Maker Lab founder Özge Özmen and Nurten Sancak, a clinical psychologist who is one of the role models in Aziz Sancar's Girls in STEM project. In the design thinking workshop led by RC English teacher Aybike Oğuz, students coming from several schools had the chance to create many ideas together and get inspiration from each other.
The speakers pointed out the importance of getting rid of gender taboos while drawing attention to male-female inequalities in their fields. They also noted that the creation of new jobs and fields in the near future are an excellent opportunity to prevent further male-female inequality. In this process, they emphasized the importance of women being realistic role models and counseling youth. The participants also learned that STEM disciplines could be used to prevent social inequalities and gained knowledge about the exciting future.
ARC 6014 is currently preparing to compete with the robot they built at the FRC Bosphorus Regional which will be at the Ülker Sports Arena between March 5th and March 7th.