Friday, December 5, 2014

Five words, three lies

This article is not only blatantly dishonest, it's openly misandrist:
They started in 2007 by forming a girls-only team. The girls that had previously watched from the sidelines were now in charge of everything. It didn’t matter if they weren’t good at soldering or didn’t know how to fix a busted drivetrain. They had to figure it out.

The girls started working with a robot that the boys had initially built. Almost immediately, they solved problems that the boys couldn’t. One example: the robot wouldn’t drive straight. The boys tried to correct for this by over-steering, but it wasn’t a real solution. The girls took the robot apart, identified a problem in the drivetrain, and fixed it. Now when the robot needed to operate autonomously, it could complete its tasks without of veering off course.

The girls’ team travelled to San Diego to compete in Dean Kamen’s FIRST robotics competition. The event is akin to a robot death match mashed up with a basketball tournament — robots have to dodge their opponents and score points by winning various games. The girls didn’t make it to the finals, but it was one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. They developed competition strategies without loud-mouthed boys and repaired the robot on the fly without having to defer to the strongly held opinions of the male members of the team.
So, a man helped them improve a robot that the loud-mouthed, strongly opinionated boys built, and they lost. Amazing. If that's not evidence that we need more women in tech, and science, and games, I don't know what is!

19 comments:

Krul said...

The [original all boys] team started meeting after school. Its attendees were a rag-tag group: loners, misfits, kids who would rather be there than go back home. In 2003, the team roster included a former gang member, an ROTC cadet, a brainiac who lived in a shed, and a hulking giant of a kid who said next to nothing. The unlikely foursome started gathering spare parts from local hardware stores and businesses. Before long, they’d cobbled together an impressively robust underwater robot. They entered a major national underwater robotics competition in California and ended up beating MIT to win the national championship. Their victory put Carl Hayden on the map.

So these are the "loud-mouthed boys", eh? Their story is way better than the girl team's story, let alone the fact that the girls' story wouldn't have happened without the boys' victory.

Dalrock wrote a blog post about Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart a while back. This is the same story in miniature.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I wonder how much of Lajvardi's efforts were motivated by an anti-White man animus as payback for having been beaten-up for being Iranian in the early 1980s?

OT: a couple of those girls are clearly fuckable.

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

So these are the "loud-mouthed boys", eh? Their story is way better than the girl team's story, let alone the fact that the girls' story wouldn't have happened without the boys' victory.

It disgusts me that the author had to tear down a group of disadvantaged boys that genuinely accomplished something in order to build a story around a girl team that didn't. You want to write a puff piece about grrl pwrrr, and about how they competed competently and demonstrated they belong that is fine. But don't take away something that somebody else did.

HeligKo said...

"It’s a broader problem nationally. In elementary school, girls outperform boys in science and math, but, by college, only 18 percent of engineering majors are women. As a result, the majority of professional engineers, programmers, and scientists are male. The problem is often thought to crop up in high school, but little is done to fix it. Lajvardi and Cameron wanted to try."

That is one the best ones in the article. It ignores the fact that in elementary, and often in middle school math and science are taught by teachers who are more concerned with an orderly classroom than with the logic embedded in both disciplines. Even in middle school the math specialist teachers are often education majors with an emphasis in math, which usually means they took one or two ore math classes than the other education majors. Not until high school do you get teachers who have degrees and experience in math and science fields. Its really isn't amazing that boys do better when they encounter someone who cares more about the subjects of math and science than they do about how they sit in their chairs. Suddenly girls aren't rewarded for good behavior, but for having the correct answers and sound processes, and we are surprised that they begin to fall off the tracks that lead to the tech fields.

I remember when business schools started adding MIT degrees to compete with the engineering degrees CS and CE/EE. They were full of women who were failing at the engineering degrees. Places I worked hired these women thinking they were doing some good for diversity. Most of those women have been ushered into other areas of the company or are long gone. The only women that hang around are the few who actually graduated from the engineering schools, and in my experience those women have the brain power to compete with the men, but even then without the competitive nature, they fall behind geeks who find their competitive needs fed by their tech jobs.

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

OT: a couple of those girls are clearly fuckable.

The sexy pose was necessary because they need to demonstrate you don't lose your femininity when you work with robots. Because whats the point of accomplishing something if you can't look good while doing it.

Rek. said...

Simply outrageous!

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

That is one the best ones in the article. It ignores the fact that in elementary, and often in middle school math and science are taught by teachers who are more concerned with an orderly classroom than with the logic embedded in both disciplines. Even in middle school the math specialist teachers are often education majors with an emphasis in math, which usually means they took one or two ore math classes than the other education majors.

Boys brains develop slower than girl brains. Which is why girls out compete boys early on. The unruly classroom thing absolute does affect boy performance in favor of girl performance in middle school. I don't know how important the education thing for math is. Its not particularly demanding until late high school so whether the Math teacher knows how to solve DiffEqs or do set/field algebra is entirely irrelevant. Besides at my university if you wanted to get a math ed degree you had to pass those classes anyway. Which was really nice for us true math majors because it really helped with the curve and gave us access to more attractive women.

CarpeOro said...

So, because of the concern for girls... they removed all boys from the program, removing a possible path out of poverty for the boys. Yeah, that makes sense.

1sexistpig2another said...

...and we are surprised that they begin to fall off the tracks that lead to the tech fields.

Well I'm not. It's a shame that most teachers are women, but I look at the falling off the tracks part as a tiny gold nugget in a pile of poop. Do we really want women doing to tech as they've done to so many other fields?

Krul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HeligKo said...

My point was more to the fact that the teachers below high school simply don't care about math. They barely understand beyond the basics themselves, so they fail to see where a student has gotten ahead in their thinking and are missing the point of what is being taught. There is a tendency to focus on rote processes vs mathematical thinking. Some of the curriculum is trying to get to mathematical thinking, but few of the teachers know or care enough to understand it until you get to middle school and higher.

Brain development and learning styles I think really calls for separate classrooms and curriculum paths for boys and girls. Most modern public schools could divide the students that way without any real issue. Could you imagine how much better things would be for both the boys and the girls if the classrooms favored them completely.

Sambuca Ford said...

Speaking of STEM and the obvious, I spent the past three months working with college freshman studying introductory automotive technology. A class of 14 boys and one girl. The boys picked up most things well, struggled with some math, but took the lab assignments very well. The girl looked puzzled throughout class, could not grasp Ohm's Law or Watts' Law to save her life, and told the instructor soldering and welding were the same things. She then proceed to melt all the wire sheaths trying to solder exposed copper. Because appearance is necessary to ID the bohos of the world, she looked like an emaciated emo, Loved Pink but wore black, and generally was ill-mannered and sullen. Yet, there she was. Was conflicted whether to give her a kick out the door or a sandwich.

In the words of the late Adm. Stockdale, "Who am I? Why am I here?"

Iowahine said...

OT: a couple of those girls are clearly fuckable.

Perhaps the highest calling for a woman in STEM: be f-able. Or, fuch a geek!

Anyway, sure I'm not the only one to notice, but the few gringo/haolies are fat or dyke.

Iowahine said...

OT: a couple of those girls are clearly fuckable.

Perhaps the highest calling for a woman in STEM: be f-able. Or, fuch a geek!

Anyway, sure I'm not the only one to notice, but the few gringo/haolies are fat or dyke.

Owen said...

Boys brains develop slower than girl brains. Which is why girls out compete boys early on.

That's not exactly accurate. Different parts of girls' brains develop faster than in boys, such as the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe helps people with behavior typically expected in classroom settings (among other things).

Corvinus said...

Boys brains develop slower than girl brains. Which is why girls out compete boys early on.

Along with longer male shelf lives, this is a major reason why traditionally a man was significantly older than his wife.

Mr. Bee said...

I've worked in aerospace for 40 years. The vast majority of the contracts are government funded - which meant stealthy racial and sexual quotas. For the last 30 years, women with STEM backgrounds have been systematically given priority in technical hiring, priority for better more interesting jobs and priority in salary increases and promotion. In that time I've worked with and known a couple of dozen women engineers and scientists. Of that set, I'd say that there were 3 or 4 who were actually technically effective, creative and deeply knowledgeable about their fields as opposed to about half the male engineers. The rest either left aerospace and went into something else - mainly teaching - or were eventually promoted into management where they carried on useful, effective and productive careers until they either retired or were laid off.

Michael Maier said...

Federal worker here: I'm actually having trouble thinking of a single black person higher in rank than me that doesn't seem promoted above their intelligence level.

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