First All-Girls Robotics Team

Source: King 5 News (see the video)

“We were like, ‘This is not going to work,'” Bucklin remembered. “We screamed when it went on.”

Eric VanBuren coaches Holy Names’ first ever robotics team.

“Yea, I joined in the screams,” VanBuren laughed.

The team is the only all-girls First Robotics team in the state of Washington or the entire Pacific Northwest region.

“You walk in and you’re the only girl there, or you’re one of five,” Bucklin said. “It’s more intimidating than you think.”

That’s almost why Bucklin shied away from creating a team. Then she met Kieras, who had the same idea.

“Can I do it? Can people like me succeed?” Kieras said.

The two girls turned into about a dozen in a team sport that’s dominated by boys. According to the most recent count, there were only a total of 30 all-girl First Robotics teams worldwide.

“They can do it. They can do engineering,” VanBuren said. “They can do the programming.”

The team refers to their robot, Hermione, as “she.” Hermione will compete in lifting and stacking against 30 Seattle teams. The girls may have built her, but say she’s built confidence for them.

And for Bucklin, a career.

“I’m not scared anymore,” Bucklin said. “I know I can code something. I can figure it out.”

Bucklin wants to work in medicine with a specialty in computer science, another male dominated field like the competition they’re ready to win.

“It really helped me feel like I can do whatever I want to, especially in tech,” she said.

The Holy Names robotics team hopes to compete in the World Championships in April. All they have to do is win the Rookie All Star award, and they have a one in eight chance to do so.