All-girls Bellevue robotics team makes finals

The third time was the charm for Sammamish High School’s all-girls robotics teams, which made it to the finals in a statewide contest last month.

On Oct. 22, Sammamish High School team the Robototes competed in the Girls Generation competition. Team members Brielle Chenier, Mikaela Ikeda, Amanda Manea, Juliana McKeehan, Eevee Partan, Alison Tang and Abbi White ended up making it to the final round and walked away with a trophy.

The Robototes won eight out of the nine qualification matches at the competition and went home with a finalist trophy, said Sammamish High School science teacher and the team’s leader, Kim Herzog. The wins were particularly impressive because most of the team members are freshman, she added.

It was the third time the school had taken a team to participate in the female-focused competition.

Girls Generation was created by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics in 2010 to expand and emphasize engineering opportunities available for young women. It expanded to the Seattle area in 2012, and last year over 130 girls from 22 teams participated.

During Girls’ Generation, the girls are the drive team, pit crew and all the other roles on the team.

“Traditionally teams across the country are mostly made up of boys and especially when it comes to driving the robots at competition. Locally we are trying to change that by focusing on inclusion for girls. The competition … allowed only girls to drive the robots and boys were filling support roles,” Herzog said.