Genetic Advantage, an all-girl robotics team from Thunder Mountain High School, advanced to the state competition, competing March 8 and 9 against 35 teams from across Alaska.
Coach Carol May reported that the team of six impressed judges in several categories; they were frontrunners in four of the eight categories and took home the Compass Award for their working relationship with their mentor. They were also finalists for an award for community outreach and education of STEM activities, the Motivate award and the Inspire award, which would have advanced them to nationals. During the Southeast Regional competition in Hoonah Feb. 8, Genetic Advantage took homw the Think award for their engineering notebook. Trial and Error, another TMHS team, earned the Connect award at the same regional competition.
This is the first year of participation for each member of Genetic Advantage and they are enthusiastic about continuing. The group is made up of students Ivy Greever, Jordan Cooper, Medora Rorick, Rebecca Hassler, Elizabeth Rumfelt and exchange student Ayah Tafesh from Gaza City, Palestine. With coaches May and Scot Fiscus, as well as mentor Adam Dimmit from Guardian Flight, they took Alaska by storm, maybe next year they’ll take it further.
First Lego League robotics is a program designed to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math. Groups of up to 10 students, aided by at least one coach, work together to build and program autonomous robots to execute tasks defined by a different challenge each year. The program also teaches the participants valuable employment and life skills.
For more on FLL in Juneau and statewide, visit FLLAlaska.org, or to learn about other STEM programs in Juneau, visit STEMAK.org .