All-Girls Minneapolis Robotics Team Wins Award at State Tournament

Minneapolis, MN, February 11, 2016 --( The Rubies, a Minneapolis-based all-girls robotics team, won the Control Award at the FIRST®Tech Challenge (FTC) Minnesota State Championship tournament held on February 6, 2016. This was their first year participating in FTC. They are the first Minneapolis team to advance to the state championships; all five members are 8th or 9th graders attending Minneapolis Public Schools.

In FTC teams of 7th through 12th graders design, build, and program their own custom robot to complete a set of designated tasks. FTC is organized in Minnesota by High Tech Kids, whose mission to deliver fun, hands-on science, engineering and technology programs and events that inspire Minnesota kids in their formative years. “We are incredibly proud of The Rubies, alumni of our FIRST® LEGO® League program, the first all girls FIRST Tech Challenge team from Minneapolis,” notes Cheryl Moeller, Executive Director of High Tech Kids.

The Control Award is given to the team who best masters robot intelligence through the use of sensors and software. The Rubies’ robot is controlled by custom Java software running on an attached Android smartphone. Rachel Springer, the Rubies’ lead programmer, comments, “It’s really cool that we only started learning Java in October, and we’ve now won the award for best programming at State!”

The Rubies were also finalists for the Motivate Award for exemplifying the core values of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) through outreach, team-building, and enthusiasm. As Ava Kian puts it, “Teamwork is not possible without friendship. Our success this year is due to the wonderful relationships we have. We all push each other to be the best that we can possibly be.”

The Rubies are sponsored by Satcom Direct (SD), a satellite communications company based in Melbourne, Florida. “We’re so grateful to SD for sponsoring us. They helped us to get started in this program and we couldn’t have done this without them,” said Isabella Kemling. The Rubies also received a grant for rookie teams from the Argosy Foundation.

For additional information:
Twitter: @ftc_rubies

High Tech Kids:
FTC Rubies
Rachel Springer