BP STEM Academy’s Robotics Team 68689V – consisting of eighth-graders Mila Ramos, Kimberly Ruiz, Joey Hou and Manuel Barcelo – finished in the top five of the VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) Girl Powered Challenge, demonstrating the team’s skills, knowledge and diversity in the STEM field.
The Girl Powered Online Challenge, sponsored by Google, is an initiative dedicated to highlighting diversity in STEM by showcasing how women are changing the world and creating an environment where students can flourish in their confidence and abilities.
“Team 68689V accomplished so much this year by participating in the Girl Powered Challenge and expressing what ‘Girl Power’ means to them, on top of excelling in their normal robot building and competition cycle,” BP STEM Academy Robotics Coach and STEM teacher Tom Lau said. “This experience really helped to highlight for them how exciting it is to be involved with STEM.”
The Girl Powered Challenge is an online written challenge in which students share their compelling and engaging stories, giving the judging committee insight into how the team incorporated Girl Powered initiatives into their experience as a VRC team.
“Since this was all of our first year in robotics, we were ecstatic to learn we were in the top five,” Ramos said. “We all felt honored that our hard work was recognized. We got to know each other's strengths, weaknesses, and personalities throughout the process, which helped to improve our bond with each other.”
The team finished in the quarterfinals at the VRC competition hosted at Tustin USD earlier in the year and won the Energy Award for their outstanding enthusiasm and excitement at the event. The team also finished in the quarterfinals of the Downey tournament, and was crowned Skills Champion for the Río Hondo League, qualifying them for the U.S. Open in Iowa.
“Throughout the season and in the Girl Powered Challenge, we have overcome multiple challenges, both as teams and individuals,” Hou said. “In the process of learning, our team’s communication and teamwork strengthened, which will help us during the remainder of the school year and in our future projects together.”
BP STEM_GIRLPOWERED: BP STEM Academy’s VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) team 68689V – consisting of eighth-graders Mila Ramos, Kimberly Ruiz, Joey Hou and Manuel Barcelo – finished in the Top 5 of the Girl Powered Challenge. The Challenge is an online, written contest in which students share their stories of how they incorporate Girl Powered initiatives into their experience as a VRC team.