November 13, 2017
On Saturday, November 11, 2017 the Killer Bees of Notre Dame Preparatory finished the FIRST Robotics Competition offseason by co-hosting the 5th annual All Girls Tournament in partnership with teams from Bloomfield Hills High School, International Academy – Central and Brandon Schools. After six rounds of qualifying matches, the Killer Bees partnered with FRC Teams 2337 (Grand Blanc), 240 (Monroe) and 4961 (Almont) to win the tournament.
The tournament provides women on FIRST Robotics Competition teams the opportunity to drive and operate robots built by students and professional engineers. The “pit crews” must be all female as well. Other team members provided advice, assistance, scouting data and input on strategy. This event provides all students on the team with new perspectives and opportunities to perform in new roles.
Photo Credit: Nick Coussens
Thirty-two teams, from Michigan and Canada participated in the event, brought more than 300 high school aged women to the competition giving them the opportunity to meet college representatives, compete with robots and earn scholarships. Junior Lorena Dorantes, a member of the Killer Bees commented, “It was really cool to work with other girls and it was an unbelievable experience to be behind the glass driving the robot for the first time. It was fun to learn with other girls on the team. I really enjoyed setting up the robot for the match and getting it down safely after it climbed the rope. I learned more about how strategy comes into game play.”
The FIRST Alumni and Mentors Network from the University of Michigan provided many volunteers for the event. The college students took a break from their homework, sharing their expertise and knowledge with the high school students. Amanda Kline was named as Volunteer of the Year for her work as a technical resource for the participating high school teams.
Five $1000 scholarships were awarded to senior women from FRC teams 772 Sabre Bytes (Lasalle, Ontario), 2834 Bionic Black Hawks (Bloomfield Hills), 68 Truck Town Thunder (Brandon), 1189 the Gear Heads (Grosse Pointe), 3322 the Eagle Imperium (Ann Arbor). Faurecia of Auburn Hills and Thyssen Krupp provided generous support to the scholarship fund.