ELON, NC--- Robotics is a male-dominated industry and sport, but girls are starting to take over the playing field.
- First Lego League introduces young students to real world engineering
- This year, there are approximately 535 teams across the state, and many of them have girls
- The state competition will be held in January
Sarah Grace Dock is a fifth grader at the Expedition School in Hillsborough. It is her first year on the robotics team.
"I really like to code a lot, and I really like to build Legos. I liked to do this since I was really little, so I thought if I just want to do that then why don't I just join a team to do it?" Sarah said.
That's what she did. Saturday her team, the Robo Griffins, competed against other teams from across the state in the First Lego League robotics competition at Western Middle School in Elon. Girls are few in robotics, but Sarah says girls can love STEM too.
"It feels kind of special to have just a few girls, but it feels really nice other girls are doing it, because a lot of people say Legos are for boys, like it's not true," Sarah said.
Her team mate, Leilani Koovadia, says she did not know what she was signing up for at first, but she's glad she is doing it.
"I never knew what Lego robotics was, but I play with play mobiles a lot so my mom's like 'oh I'll just sign her up for Lego robotics without her knowing yay,'" Leilani said.
First Lego League introduces young students to real world engineering, challenged by building technology based robots to compete tasks on a playing surface. This year, there are approximately 535 teams across the state, and many of them have girls.
Leah Kefauver is on team Tech Knights from Burlington, she says more and more girls are joining.
"Last year I actually made friends with an all-girl team during states," Kefauver said.
If you're a girl planning on joining a robotics team, Sarah and Leilani have some advice for you.
"Just don't listen to the boys, they're smelly," Sarah said.
"You can choose whatever you want to do, just do what you want it doesn't matter what people say," Leilani said.
Five teams from the competition will move on to the state competition. The state competition will be held Saturday, January 18 and Sunday, January 19 on North Carolina A&T University's campus.