2017 All Girls FLL Challenge!

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The 2nd annual All Girls FLL Challenge took place on Saturday, May 20th on IUPUI's campus and hosted almost 60 girls. Representing Avon, Bedford, Fort Wayne, Hobart, Indianapolis, Martinsville, West Lafayette, and Zionsville, 12 teams participated in this day-long, off-season event that focuses on boosting the confidence of females participating on robotics teams. The event was planned and hosted by an all-female steering committee comprised of staff from the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, IndianaFIRST, the School of Informatics & Computing, and TechPoint Foundation for Youth.

 Judges Ashley Looper & Katie Richmond pose with Ruby Roo.

Judges Ashley Looper & Katie Richmond pose with Ruby Roo.

Similarly to last year, the opening ceremonies were followed by three, 1-hour long sessions that allowed the girls to experience the virtual reality and media labs during a building tour with IUPUI students, practice with their robots to prepare for the afternoon's competition, and work together on this year's Sisterhood Activity.

The Sisterhood Award is based on the successful completion of the activity, which changes every year to reflect the FIRST LEGO League challenge. Since this year's challenge was Animal Allies, the steering committee wanted an activity that tied engineering and design concepts to animal welfare so we invited some guest judges to help us pull it off! 

 A team of girls works together to design their prosthetic concept for Ruby Roo.

A team of girls works together to design their prosthetic concept for Ruby Roo.

Ruby Roo, a chihuahua born without her front legs, was the star of this year's Sisterhood Activity. The girls were charged with designing a prosthetic concept for Ruby that was not too heavy or too light or too cumbersome - all problems she's faced with past prosthetics. Her owner, former veterinary technician Ashley Looper, talked to the girls about various animal prosthetics while Katie Richmond, a certified prosthetist/orthotist at Prosthetic Solutions of Indiana, told them more about prosthetics for humans. After learning from our judges, the girls got to meet Ruby and then use craft supplies to create their own prosthetic designs. There were lots of exciting ideas!

After lunch, the teams presented their prosthetic ideas to Katie, Ashley, and Ruby in hopes of winning the Sisterhood Award, and participated in the Animal Allies robot competition in the auditorium. 

At the end of the day, six total awards were presented to the most deserving teams for the following accomplishments:

Sisterhood Award: Hobart Brickies from Hobart
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.

Champion: Robo Saviors from Martinsville
The Champion Award is presented to the team with the highest score during the robot competition.

Runner Up: Gamer Girls - Narwahls from Zionsville
The Runner Up Award is presented to the team with the second highest score during the robot competition.

Robot Design Award: AME2 from Indianapolis
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

Creativity Award: Gamer Girls - Turtles from Avon
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.

 A girl-powered team of volunteers was instrumental in making the event a success!

A girl-powered team of volunteers was instrumental in making the event a success!

Phoenix Award: The Thing That Moves from West Lafayette
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 & thanks to our volunteers for making this event possible!