Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

In OUR Words: VEX IQ Girl Powered Online Challenge


Entry ID #: 7645
Created: Sun, Jan 12, 2020 8:21 AM

“I am a girl. I am smart and I am strong and I can do anything.”- Anonymous Hi, my name is Sarah Bronico. I have been involved with Vex for 3 years now. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, hanging out with my robotics team, and hanging out with my soccer team. Along with spending time with my family, robotics team, and soccer team, I enjoy hanging out with my friends at school. My favorite part of Vex is when the robot is all built and we then get to drive it. I like Vex in general.  My name is Leah Hausold. In my free time, I like to read, hang out with my friends, go out with my family, Archery, and cheerleading. I have been on the Vex robotics team for 3 years. Hello, my name is Chloe Smith. I have been on our Vex team for 3 years. In my free time I like to go roller skating at the Villa. I enjoy Archery, Softball, and Field Hockey. I also enjoy playing basketball with my friends, even though i’m not very good at it!  Hi, my name is Kelly Mamrak. I am currently in 8th grade. I have been on the Vex robotics team since 6th grade. In my free time, I like to shop, hang out with my friends, and spend time with my kitten, Stormy. I like to build and work on the robot. 6th Grade- The Beginning Stages We were in 6th grade, and the Vex program just started in our school. Our mentor had never done Vex before and neither had we. We had to learn everything and the stress was overwhelming. We were so anxious for our first competition because we haven't done this before and we wanted to make a good impression. The Building Process There were all these different parts and pieces! As we looked at the manual and started to build-our first robot, “Taylor,” was born! We discussed what we needed to accomplish and how we wanted our robot to look. As we got closer and closer to the competition, Taylor was looking ready to go. All we had left was to get there and compete.  Competition Day We were at our first competition, and we were at the field competing with a team of all boys. Our robot wasn’t able to do some of the things and they didn’t like that very much. They told us that girls can’t do anything and how our robot was really bad. This inspired us to keep working and never give up.  7th Grade-The Beginning We were so excited to be back together, building another robot. We learned so much, but still had a lot more to learn. Our mentor added another team, which meant we had to step up and help them learn what we knew. Having another group put a lot of pressure on us. We were constantly getting compared to them by our peers and were told that we have to be better. We knew that wasn’t what Vex was about. Vex is about working together, problem-solving and never giving up even when you know you might not win. Most importantly, it's about having fun!  Building “Kiki” As the year went on, we realized this year was harder than last year. The game was different and was more complicated. That didn’t stop us. We worked so hard to make a good robot. We never gave up. We knew we aren’t as good as the teams we compete against, but we knew what we wanted: To be the best us we can be! “Kiki” was a very simple, but complex robot. When we finished her, we were very proud. We had built such an amazing robot. Now it was time to compete! The Competition Day This day was a little less nerve-wracking than last year, but we were still nervous. We had worked so hard on our robot, so we didn't want anything to go wrong. Fortunately, nothing did! We competed very well and learned a lot of important lessons. We went into a meeting with judges and they said we were a very determined team and they wished us the best of luck. That made us work harder. We didn’t do as well as we wanted, but we still had an amazing time.   8th Grade-The Beginning This is our last year with our Vex team in middle school. One of our setbacks was not having one of our original teammates. Now, instead of 5 people, we only had 4. We knew it was going to be hard, but we never gave up. We have made it too far now just to give up because of one less person.  “Karen” was born! As we started to build the robot, we noticed something: it wasn’t going to work how we wanted it to, so instead of following build instructions, we built our own. We had to make adjustments and figure out what worked for us. As we started to make progress, Karen was turning out great! We didn’t think we were going to compete, but we all worked together to make one amazing robot! Our last competition :( The day has come. It was our last Vex competition. Our robot didn’t look like the other teams, but it looked very good for only meeting twice a week. A lot went wrong while competing, but we pulled our act together. Some of our robot kept breaking or didn’t work and all together we weren’t working like a team. We had a team meeting and discussed what was going wrong and figured out we had to work better together. All together, we had a great time! First Stages/Adding the 5th Omni-Directional wheel/Coding for autonomous When we hear ‘Girl Powered', what comes to mind? When we hear the phrase ‘Girl Powered’, we always think about women's equality or showing the world that girls are worth more than people think. We want to show the world that girls can do the same things as boys.   How is this reflected in your team's approach to robotics? When you hear the word robotics, you probably think its for boys and that is what we want to change. When you hear the word robotics, we want you to know it's for boys AND girls.   Share how your team took initiative to create a more inclusive environment that attracts a diverse group of students: During our 3 years in Vex, we have learned that you can’t build a robot with one person. We all needed to work together and make modifications and determine how we wanted our robot to work. We learned teamwork and communication are the keys to having a good robot.  Share how each team member tried various roles on the team: Our first year, each person tried the different roles as the coder, builder and driver. By the end, we each got “assigned” a role that fit what we were best at. That doesn’t mean we only did one thing. We all helped each other, but when we split up, we had different things to do. For instance, Chloe and Sarah were more of the builders and Leah and Kelly were more of the coders. We all take turns driving the robot.  How do you believe diversity of perspective changes your robot design, your team chemistry, and even your ability to succeed? By having different types of personalities on our team, we had a lot of different opinions and different ideas. Each and every one of us put in effort to build this robot. Some of us saw things that others didn’t, and having those different perspectives really helped.   Who is your STEM role model and why? Our STEM role model is our mentor, Mrs. Piazza. She is our role model because she was always there for us when we were confused and she chose to learn everything new with us.  In OUR Words: VEX IQ Girl Powered Online Challenge Team 2551A "RTD." We are Sarah, Chloe, Leah, and Kelly. We make up the team 2551A with our robot "Karen."

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