Girl Powered: My Journey through Vex IQ

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Hi, my name is Mary Ashley. I am from an all girls robotics team, 10740F, at Oak Mountain Middle School. Currently, I have an incredible team of four, but last year, I had a team of three, and then two. At the start of this year, I even had a team of six.

So, I'm going to tell you about my journey through Vex IQ.

I really got into robotics when I was in sixth grade, but I didn't join the team until seventh, last year. My teacher, Mrs. Whitehead, approached me and asked me if I wanted to join the robotics team, and I really did.

Turns out, two of the boys in my class did too. The only problem I found with this team was that they, Zach and Jacob, got distracted so easily. They built swords rather than the robot.

Now, after weeks of building, the robot is done, and our first chance at competition came around. We did awful, but we didn't come in last place, one team came in really late with their robot.

We have a personal joke about that now. Anyways, it's a few competitions later, just two or three, and I really don't like my team.

I guess that it was the perfect time to realize this because here comes Elizabeth, a girl in seventh grade who wanted to join the club but didn't have a team. She would be my teammate for the rest of the year. Obviously, I got permission to leave my team and form a new one with her.

We wanted to be competitive at the next competition, three days from the day we formed our two-person team. We got that robot built that night and programmed the next day.

Here comes the day of the competition, and we somehow managed to get everything we needed to compete. It was great, and we did okay. We went to the remaining competitions, despite my conflicting schedule with Gymnastics and two other clubs.

We made a fairly competitive robot, but we always seemed to get second place.

Eventually we qualified for state, and we did incredible at state. We would have gone to worlds even, but our second place streak continued to reign. We didn't go to worlds this year, but we planned to team up again next year.

Now I can get into the good stuff. I'm in eighth grade this year. Elizabeth and I teamed up, just as planned, but there was a major issue. We had more friends this year than last, and we wanted them on our team.

Elizabeth wanted Mary Ashley, a girl named Rebecca, and Piper. The majority of them were in seventh grade.

I wanted Elizabeth, Katie, and Alaina. The majority were in eighth grade. The obvious solutions were to either have one eighth and one seventh grade team, or join both the teams.

All of us, as friends chose the latter, though not without thoughts about how many things could go wrong. Who would drive and program? How would we keep up with everything? Will everyone have an important role?

We decided to go with our original divide and conquer strategy of last year. Mary Ashley, Katie and Piper would be the interchangeable drivers. ALaina, Katie, and Mary Ashley would program. Mary Ashley and Katie would build. Rebecca and Elizabeth would research. Piper, Elizabeth, and Rebecca would keep the notebook up to date.

At first our team did great, though we did have plenty of difficulties. Our first one was back at our first competition of the 2016/2017.

Katie and Alaina were unable to attend because Katie had a soccer tournament, and Alaina had a very important cross country meet( both of them are incredibly involved in other clubs), but Piper, Elizabeth, and Rebecca could.

So, let's skip the boring part of getting everything set up and go to the competition. Our team was in first for teamwork challenge the entire time, but that doesn't mean our robot wanted to stay the same. No, he decided to mess himself up..

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