By Damien Willis
Las Cruces Sun-News, N.M.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A great look at how several programs in New Mexico are empowering women in tech. As 13 year old Bethany Gruenig puts it “Robotics isn’t just for guys,”…”We need to become engineers, so there are more women engineers. Some of the best ideas — not discriminating against guys, or anything — but some of the best ideas have come from women engineers.”
As students of all ages from across New Mexico competed Saturday in a statewide robotics competition on the campus of New Mexico State University, an organization devoted to encouraging girls to seek out careers in science and engineering had its monthly board meeting just three blocks away.
“I think girls should definitely be encouraged to participate in robotics, and learning about technology,” said Bethany Gruenig, a 13-year-old eighth grader from Rio Rancho. Bethany was competing on the R4 Robotics Team, a team made up of home-schooled students from Rio Rancho.
More than 40 teams from around the state participated in the New Mexico VEX Robotics State Championship at NMSU’s James B. Delamater Activity Center. Teams traveled from as far away as Santa Fe and Carlsbad to compete at two levels–the VEX IQ competition, for elementary and middle school students, and the VRC competition for high school students.
“Robotics isn’t just for guys,” Bethany said. “We need to become engineers, so there are more women engineers. Some of the best ideas — not discriminating against guys, or anything — but some of the best ideas have come from women engineers.”
A social activity
“I really enjoy learning new things, and the teamwork that’s involved,” said Bethany’s teammate, 13-year-old Reva Keintz of Rio Rancho. “You learn so much about teamwork, and how to work together to solve problems as a team. And it’s also fun to just be with your friends.”