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Girl Scouts Go Robotic!

May 17, 2012

Last week, several teams of Girl Scouts participated in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition in St. Louis. The international competition is open to kids ages 6 to 18, and offers contests in four categories: Junior First Lego League (ages 6–9), First Lego League (9–14), First Robotics Competition (14–18), and First Tech Challenge (14–18). The Hippie Pandas (pictured), a group of four girls from Rochester, New York, took first place in the Gracious Professionalism Award for their milk pasteurization project to help people in Nicaragua.

“It was an incredible experience to see these girls so empowered about competing,” says Frank Signorello, GSUSA’s STEM manager. “They showed such grace and professionalism under intense competition. On the playing field, the girls were all business; they knew where to go, how to get there, stuck to the deadlines, and followed the rules. When they were in the ‘pits,’ the place where they fixed and updated their robots after a match, they turned into ‘robo-doctors’—diagnosing, troubleshooting, and debugging—making sure their robot was healthy for the next match.”

Some teams that participated include the Girl Scouts of Montana, Wyoming, Central Texas, Western New York, and Central and Southern New Jersey. Teams from Eastern Missouri and Northern California also competed with funding from Motorola Solutions Foundation. Check out our photos of the girls at work and play, and find out why the competition is called “the hardest fun you’ll ever have!”