About the Ladybots
The goal of the Ladybots is to learn and be competitive within FTC while increasing STEM interest, knowledge, and participation within the community, and to do it all while having fun. We as a team also want to increase the amount of girl engineers, CAD members, and programmers within the community through our outreach and impact on the towns/cities that we compete in. Our aim is to make a positive impact on the FTC world while having fun and doing our best in our robotic lives.
In 2010, Maddie and Elizabeth and others from their Park City Girl Scout troop started an FLL team called the Ladybots and competed in the Body Forward challenge. The following year the troop decided they didn’t want to compete in FLL, but Maddie and Elizabeth wanted to continue with this amazing experience. They needed more members, so they recruited Alanna and Elena to join the team, and the Ladybots were born. In 2011, the Ladybots competed in a qualifying FLL Food Factor competition and won. They advanced to the Utah State FLL Championship and won again! The Ladybots were on their way to competing in the Florida Open World Competition.
The year after Florida, the team decided to move on to FTC. It was a fresh start, and while the team was very excited not to be limited by FLL’s rules, this change meant learning a whole new set of materials and skills. Elizabeth, Maddie, Alanna, and Elena progressed on to the Ring it Up season, which they spent learning all the parts and pieces and effective gameplay strategies. The next year they were actually ready to compete in Block Party. They competed in the Las Vegas and the Utah competitions. In the Utah Championship, several teams from Park City did very well. The RoboMiners won the Utah State Championship and advanced to Super Regionals. The Ladybots received the 2nd place Inspire Award and moved on to Super Regionals in Sacramento. The Ladybots didn’t advance from Super Regionals, but it was a great learning experience. They learned at Super Regionals that having more than four members would be helpful, so they recruited new members to the team, including two from the RoboMiners (which dissolved after many of its members graduated). The new members from the RoboMiners are Sam and Florent, and Maike joined after hearing about the team at school.
After this last year, in 2015 most of the members graduated so the team and the name graduated with the students.
Through the years 2014 to 2015, Tali Kottler and Kimberly Van Maren were part of the RoboMustangs at Treasure Mountain Junior High School. There were many other team members and throughout the entire year, it was a great learning experience for everyone involved. From learning how to use the tools needed to make the arena, using the FTC materials to build the robot, learning out how to format an engineering notebook, and more, the entire team was able to learn a great deal. After graduating to the high school in tenth grade, Tali and Kimberly were able to renew the Ladybots team with the help of Kirsten, Erin, and Nina. All new recruits for that year. They were all able to learn a lot through the experience and had a lot of fun with the FTC program. Each member continued this year 2016-2017, but Kimberly is just working on the business plan and not officially on the team.
Our mission as a team is to inspire and help young girls grow and accomplish great things through the STEM and FIRST programs. We hope to encourage both girls and boys to advance in these types of fields while also improving and having fun. We are also always trying to improve our own skills in many ways.
Our team has split outreach into two different categories: local community outreach, and robotics community outreach. In terms of local outreach we have spoken to the local newspaper, answered questions on the local radio station, volunteered a regional science fair fundraising event and presented at a local STEM summer camp. In the robotics community we have done a lot. We have hosted a very successful scrimmage; 16 teams attended and over 100 members of the community came to watch and assisted with a nearby scrimmage. We mentor four local FTC teams. One of these teams did FLL with us for several years and just moved to FTC this season. We also mentor FTC teams in New Jersey and Texas. Lastly we have volunteered at FLL qualifying tournaments and the Las Vegas FTC championship.
The season of 2015-2016, the new Ladybots went to Trailside and talked about robotics to the elementary school kids during their science and engineering fair. It was a lot of fun, and everyone learned a lot. At this point, the team didn’t have their own robot as they were still figuring things out, our team took last year’s Ladybot’s robot, and it was amazing to work with the kids. An amazing experience. The robot worked really well, and the kids loved it.
This new season, our team was able to make an impact in our community by going to the phone-a-thon as well as heading on over to Trailside once again. During the phone-a-thon our team was able to spread the word to families about our team and what we are trying to accomplish while also fundraising for the materials needed. There was a lot of rejection, but our team went through it and it was still a great experience. During the Trailside science fair, many kids and their families came up to our booth. They were able to drive and watch the robot in action! This year, we had our own robot that was functioning and was amazing for both the kids and our own learning experience driving and improving our coordination as a team. We are also planning on helping to host the Utah competition here in Park City. We hope it will be a good experience in which we will learn a lot in how to organize a big event like this.
Student Team Members:
Tali has been in robotics since she was in ninth grade. This is her third year in robotics. She loves building and working with all of the electronics. Tali is our team captain, and is excessively teased by everyone else on the team. She has lived in Park City her entire life, and takes after her brother Sam Kottler who was part of the Ladybot’s team last year. She hopes to grow as a builder this next year and to improve our team to the best of her ability. She is a fair captain who is also well experienced.
Kimberly has also been in robotics in ninth grade with Tali and last year. She was able to be both a main builder and recorder of the great times the team has had together. Kimberly used to live in Salt Lake City, UT. However she moved up to Park City when she was in fifth grade. Kimberly takes after her engineering father, and loves robotics. This season from 2016-17 Kimberly isn’t a full fledged member in the Ladybot’s team. She is able to come to some meetings and helps when the team needs it, but she isn’t fully commited.
Erin first joined robotics last year. She loves working with all of the electronics and has learned a lot. She wants to continue to be a builder the next few years she is in robotics. However she was also able to learn how to CAD. Her goal is to keep on learning every year and to keep having fun in robotics. Erin was born in Maryland, but moved to Park City when she was four years old. Erin joined robotics because she enjoys hands on projects and always used to take electronics at home apart. She hopes to improve her skills and to be a great asset to the team.
Nina began in First Lego League, and decided to be a part of First Tech Challenge last year. Nina is handicapped, however she is a great asset to the team and always is fun to be around. Nina was mainly our designer these last two years. However she hopes to learn more about building and programming as she continues with robotics. Nina loves working with her hands and continuing to expand her knowledge.
Kirsten started in robotics as a brand new member last year. She joined robotics because she was interested in computer programming, however did not plan on becoming the programmer that she is now. She used to live in Pennsylvania until five years ago when she moved to Park City, Utah. Kirsten hopes to continue programming next year as well as becoming a better builder. She wants the Ladybots to improve every year and hopefully get to Super Regionals before she graduates. She is an amazing asset to the team and the robot wouldn’t be able to function without her.
The Ladybots come from two different Park City schools: Treasure Mountain Junior High and Park City High School. We are all caucasian, but we have different backgrounds. Most of us come from and grew up in Utah, however some of us grew up in Pennsylvania or Maryland. This has brought together different geographical locations and people together. We hope to continue growing and helping others understand and improve in robotics.