Von Steuben all-girls robotics team prepares for national competition

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An all-girls robotics team from Von Steuben High School in the city's North Park neighborhood is making Chicago proud as they prepare for an upcoming national competition. (WLS)

An all-girls robotics team from Von Steuben High School in the city's North Park neighborhood is making Chicago proud as they prepare for an upcoming national competition.

"It's like one of those mystery novels, you would read and you keep solving problems and problems until you come up with the right answer for the bot," said team member Karen Moy.

"You made the robot move by yourself, and someone else, and you were actually able to accomplish it and it's just so satisfying," said Hikari Nakasone, team member.

Team Vexo is comprise of all first-year students in robotics; sophomores and a freshman. They won a slot to compete in the National Vex Robotics Competition in April.

"I'm actually really nervous," said team member Safa Azad.

Their talent got attention at the qualifying competition. Their gender is also noteworthy.

"I think it's pretty cool that we are an all-girls team because there's not much out there," Azad said.

"For a bunch of them being their first year working in robotics, without any prior experience, I think this alone is an accomplishment," said robotics teacher Manny Aldana.

The girls refine parts of their robot, which picks up cones and stacks them. Using STEM skills, these young women are hooked on engineering.

"I love engineering. I love tools, I love to build, I love that stuff," said Sophia Villacarlos, team member. "It's just like a passion, I love it so much once I get into building stuff I just can't stop."

Furious fundraising allowed Team Vexo to go to the competition in Iowa. There is another team trying to get a spot in national competition, so there may be more fundraising at Von Steuben yet.
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educationtechnologysciencerobotswomencompetitionchicago proudChicagoNorth Park
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