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Five Queens and a Robot Win Top Honors and Head to Sacramento

Monrovia High School Robotics Team won the highest honor at Los Angeles Regional Tournament.

Submitted photo.
Submitted photo.

By Brian Johnson

Five young women from Monrovia High School and their rhinestone-encrusted robot won the Inspire Award, the highest honor given at the Los Angeles FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Regional Championship Tournament held at Monrovia this past Saturday. Along with six other teams from cities ranging from Santa Barbara to San Diego, they advance to compete with top teams from eleven western states, Alaska and Hawaii in McClellan, CA, near Sacramento on March 20-22, 2014 at the West Super-Regional FTC Championship. 

These five junior class women – the “Kings and Queens” team – designed and built their own 18 by 18 inch robot from Tetrix parts, plexiglass, and machined aluminum to compete with alliances of robots on a 12 by 12 foot field. They stand out not just for their driving, design prowess, and their robot’s ability to raise a flag and pull itself up on a bar.  Heads turn as they drive their purple robot “Your Highness” while wearing their signature costumes of purple-velvet-and gold-embroidered renaissance dresses. They also spread the word of robotics design as they share their robot adventures with elementary and middle-school students around Monrovia.   

Engineer and computer programming judges from major regional companies chose the team from among a field of the top 48 FTC robotics teams from throughout Southern California as the "role-model" team for their on-field success, teamwork, inspiration to others, representation of the First Robotics program to their school and community, and embodiment of "Gracious Professionalism," the core value of the FIRST program. 

This win is the first Regional champion from Monrovia High School in its four-year-old FTC robotics program, supported by company sponsors and members of the community and led by physics teacher Tom Dobson. Monrovia High School advanced four teams to the Los Angeles Regional Championship, which drew winners from eight qualifier competitions from Los Angeles out to the High Desert. This high school FTC after-school program is one of many opportunities supporting STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math) in conjunction with Monrovia’s Math and Science Academy. A second of Monrovia High's four FTC Robotics teams, "Team R.E.D.,” won an alternate spot for the Super-Regional tournament. 

Winning teams in the West Super-Regional Competition will advance to the international championships in St. Louis, MO on April 23-26, 2014. The Monrovia High School FTC robotics program welcomes tax-deductible donations and company sponsorships to help cover the cost of traveling to Sacramento and hopefully on to St. Louis.
Ernie Dogs February 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM
Congratulations - All Hail the Queens! Ernie, the CBO of Wonder Dog Ranch, got to meet the team of Queens and their little robot, "Your Highness" too -- he was so very impressed and wants to support the team with FREE DOG BOARDING: now that there is a Royal excursion planned, he would love to offer some assistance to the team of Queens -- should their families need to board their dogs while accompanying the Queens as part of the entourage to Sacramento, and then St. Louis, please give Ernie a call at Wonder Dog Ranch to make arrangements: 626.205.2501, WonderDogRanch.com. He'll also be happy to offer free board for any of the progeny of "Your Highness" or any other robots-in-training not going on the trip! Huzzah! Huzzah! Woof! Woof!
B Ulm February 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM
Congratulations!!! It's awesome to see the robotics program at the new campus cranking out talent. Kick actuators in Sacramento!
rubberband February 25, 2014 at 02:34 PM
BAM! Awesome job! Queens!!!! And I told Monrovians the Wonder Dog Ranch was cool....HUZZAH HUZZAH WOOF WOOF indeed!
Robert Parry February 25, 2014 at 05:48 PM
I spent a couple of hours there Saturday. Fascinating experience. Not only the technology and the brilliance of the kids, but their spirit and thriving culture of intelligence. Really a remarkable program.
rubberband February 26, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Hey Brian/Tom....Make a "Go Fund Me page".....It's easy, and many people want to donate without having to call, mail, or contact anyone. Some people like to donate and stay anonymous. Make sure to let us know if you set one up....
Brian Johnson February 26, 2014 at 11:37 AM
The Monrovia High robotics program needs the Community's help! The cost to send the Kings And Queens to the Sacramento tournament is over $3000 for the entry fee, travel costs, needed parts for the robot, and materials to build a team display booth. We need your donations and business sponsorships to make this happen. Business owners - for a donation of $500 we will prominently feature your company's logo and information on our honored supporters board in our display area, and for a donation of $1000 we will place your company logo right on the robot for everyone to see. If you would like to be a sponsor or make a tax-deductible donation please contact Tom Dobson at MHS at 626-471-2800 x7243. If you just want to support the team, please donate to our "Go Fund Me" campaign at http://www.gofundme.com/75ehc4. The girls have been amazing ambassadors at tournaments throughout Southern California and Nevada demonstrating everything that is good and special about our wonderful little city. Help them continue to represent us to the Western U.S., and hopefully to the World.
Brian Johnson February 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Thank you rubberband for that great suggestion. Our "Go Fund Me" link is http://www.gofundme.com/75ehc4.
rubberband February 26, 2014 at 09:13 PM
You are welcome. Go kick some robot booty. Directing anyone I know to your Go Fund page.......
B Ulm February 27, 2014 at 02:34 PM
Donating and posting a request to friends on Facebook. The NASA school event needed money and Monrovian's came together to help so I know we can do it again! Come on everyone interested in our kid's and country's future - math and science are it!!
rubberband February 27, 2014 at 09:03 PM
IT'S WORKING! HAHAHAHHA! IT'S ALIVE! ALIIIIVE, I TELL YOU! GoFund site is working and awesome! So are you, Big Brain Robot Makers! Love watching that total climb. Go Monrovians!
Brian Johnson February 27, 2014 at 09:41 PM
Thank you to everyone who has supported our campaign and expressed your good wishes. We're getting the robot ready this weekend so the ladies can begin extensive practices next week.

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