A group of Northeast Florida Girl Scouts are heading to the state round of a robotics competition.
In February, the team was in the Northeast Florida Regional Robotics Championship at the Prime Osborn Convention Center with 48 other groups.
The seven member team, that competes under the name The Aquabots, will be one of nine in the state finals. The team is made up of Girl Scouts from troops in Clay, Flagler and St. Johns counties.
Girl Scouts of Gateway Council CEO Mary Anne Jacobs said her organization provides a strong Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) path for girls.
“So we work diligently to prepare girls for STEM careers,” Jacobs said. “At least to open their eyes to the opportunities because actually we are creating a pipeline of future leaders, female leaders in our communities.”
The all-girl team has been working since last year on a robot that can perform activities while also creating a solution for a water-related problem with the help of coach Kelly Anderson, mentors Kelly Higgins Ludlam and Kaitlyn Ludlam.
Before the local competitions, members of the team, ranging from middle school to early high school, competed in a council-wide all Girl Scouts Robotics competition during the summer, according to Jacobs.
“They are real go-getters and obviously innovators because they have really stepped out of their comfort zone and developed something that as we know and research shows most girls do not participate in,” Jacobs said.
Along with being selected to the state round, they also received “The Rising Star” Award, which highlights the judges’ views of what they believe the group will accomplish in the future.
“They set an example for every other female student.” Jacobs said.
The FIRST Lego League Florida State Championships is at the World Golf Village on April 8.
Joslyn Simmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-358-6316