All Girls FLL Challenge!

Almost 50 girls from 9 FLL teams came to the School of Informatics & Computing at IUPUI on Saturday, May 21st, to participate in the first annual All Girls FLL Challenge, an off-season robotics event for girls only. 

Funded by the National Girls Collaborative Project and the Broad Ripple Kiwanis Club, the event was hosted by a planning committee comprised of the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, IndianaFIRST, the Learning Curve at Central Library, the School of Informatics & Computing (SOIC), and the TechPoint Foundation for Youth.

The following 9 teams participated in the event:

  1. Chemical Latinas - Indianapolis, IN
  2. Gamer Girlz - Indianapolis, IN 
  3. Huntington Ladies - Huntington, IN
  4. Lady-Bots - Griffith, IN
  5. Robow Squirrels - Bedford, IN
  6. Silver Streak - Carmel, IN
  7. TransformHERS - Indianapolis, IN
  8. Waverly Legends of LEGOs - Martinsville, IN
  9. Wild - Indianapolis, IN

The day started with an opening ceremony followed by three, hour-long sessions that the teams rotated through. Groups of teams took a tour of the SOIC building and experienced cool technology like the virtual reality and media labs, spent time on the practice fields to prepare their robots for competition, and participated in a sisterhood activity that had them inventing a holder for 8 water bottles that was safe for both animals and the environment. After lunch, the robot matches began, interspersed with time slots to present their "Harmless Holder" inventions to the judges.

One of the unique aspects of this event was the pairing of female high school robotics team members with each FLL team. These high school volunteers were from 5 different FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams and were a great resource for the FLL-ers, allowing them to interact with older girls who love robotics just as much as they do!

Of the 34 volunteers who helped make this event a success, 33 of them were female, including an all-women planning committee, referees, and judges, who came with a very impressive combined resume. We would like to thank our esteemed judges for their help:

Adrienne Wright
VP, Technology
Emmis Communications

Carlotta Berry
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Christina Dunbar
Senior UX Researcher
Angie's List

Jane Richardson
Director of IT Strategy

Tiffany Trusty
Director of Apprenticeship
Eleven Fifty Academy

Six total awards were presented to the most deserving teams for the following accomplishments:

Champion: Robow Squirrels
The Champion Award is presented to the team with the highest score during the robot competition.

Runner Up: Lady-Bots
The Runner Up Award is presented to the team with the second highest score during the robot competition.

Robot Design Award: Waverly Legends of LEGOs
For the Robot Design Award, judges look for a team whose design work stands out. They evaluate mechanical design, innovation, programming effectiveness, and team strategies for solving missions to assess overall design quality. Judges also take into account how well the robot performs on the competition field

Sisterhood Award: Robow Squirrels
For the Sisterhood Award, judges base their decision on the teamwork and core values exhibited during the sisterhood activity time, as well as the team's presentation of their finished invention. They look for a team that invented a clever product, but did so while displaying enthusiasm and support for the ideas of their fellow teammates.

Creativity Award: Silver Streak
For the Creativity Award, judges look for a team whose effort and performance is unique from every other team. They base their decision on conversations and observations made throughout the day while they look for a team that displays creativity in every aspect of their work, from the design of their robot, to the presentation of their team, to the way they work together.

Phoenix Award: WILD
The Phoenix Award is given to a team that displays a can-do attitude throughout the event, even when presented with disappointing challenges or problems. The judges look for a team that does not give up easily and is determined to persevere despite difficulties.

Congratulations to all our teams for a fabulous day of STEM learning and thank you to our sponsors and volunteers for helping to make this event possible!