Eight female members of Ferradermis traveled to Indianapolis on September 27 and 28 to participate in IndyRAGE (Raising Awareness for Girls in Engineering), an event sponsored by team #234 Cyber Blue at Perry Meridian High School. The event featured 22 teams from Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Tennessee. By the rules of the event, the drive team had to be entirely female, and the pit crew was strongly encouraged to be all female. Seniors Jenna Lee, Rosie Aschenbrener, and Gwynne Sahyun, and sophomore Zuri Goldsmith led the robot onto the field for competition. They were joined in the pit by senior Morgan Stillwagon, sophomore Morgan Hartwell, and freshmen Kasey Heizman and Katlyn Maize and their female mentors Carissa Petzinger, an engineer from Generac, Allison Conrad, an engineering student and member of Wisconsin Robotics from UW-Madison, and Laura Masbruch, WHS Computer Science teacher.
With a new drive team and a robot that still wasn’t fully functional after an issue that arose at Robofest two weeks before, the team did not fare well in the morning qualification matches. By the time they returned to the field after lunch, the robot was back to full form, and the drive team had found their confidence. The team finished strong, but was still ranked 19th at the end of qualifications, and was asked to join the 5th seeded alliance by two teams out of Indiana, #6956 SHAM-ROCK-BOTICS and #4926 GalacTech. The three alliance members played extremely well together, complementing each other’s strengths, and went on to win the competition, defeating the #1 alliance in the semi-finals.
Girls Scouts from around the Indianapolis area were invited to join the teams for two hours of activities, and each team was asked to rotate through a series of activities with the girls they were responsible for. Ferradermis members hosted four Brownies, helping them navigate an obstacle course with a small robot, eating lunch with them, giving them a tour of the pits and the competition field, and showing them the Cyber Blue workspace. Two of our Brownies were able to stay and watch some afternoon matches with us. The scouts earned a robotics badge by participating in the days’ activities.
Ferradermis shared the bus to Indy with Round Table Robotics from Oak Creek High School, and the teams enjoyed a tour of AndyMark in Kokomo, Indiana, on the way down. AndyMark is a major source of educational robotics supplies and caters heavily to FIRST Robotics teams.
Ferradermis thanks their transportation sponsors for the trip, DLK Enterprises, Generac Power Systems, and Lavelle Industries. They also appreciate the free robot transportation provided to all three Wisconsin teams competing at the event by AIM Transport.
Ferradermis will now take a break from competition until the new season begins in 2020. They already know that they have been admitted to the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee from March 18 – 21 and are awaiting confirmation of their destination for their second regional event with options for Chicago, Duluth, Grand Forks, Dayton, and LaCrosse.