Hannah Beardsley students advance to robotics state finals

CRYSTAL LAKE – An all-girls LEGO robotics team from Hannah Beardsley Middle School is going to the state finals.

The Lovely Lego Ladies were one of three to advance in December from the FIRST LEGO League Hydrodynamics Qualifier in Mundelein. The team, comprised of eighth-grade students Allie Klauser, Sammie Stebbings and Molly Wacaser, and Fox Lake’s Jocelyn Nieze, emerged from a field of 12 other squads.

The girls competed this year with added responsibilities on their plates, according to coach and parent, Taryn Stebbings. Team members are involved in sports and other activities on top of robotics, making it more difficult to find practice time.

But here they are – again.

“This is the girls’ fourth and final year in FLL, and we’re proud that they’ve qualified for the state tournament each year,” Stebbings said in a Crystal Lake Elementary School District 47 news release.

The team is one of 50 competing Saturday at the state Einstein tournament at Elgin Community College. The girls will showcase their innovative water solution and robot at the tournament.

The girls built a robot out of LEGOs and programmed it to navigate a course and move objects without the use of a controller. All directions are programmed into the robot before sending it off to see how efficiently it navigates the course and obstacles.

At the Mundelein qualifier, the Lovely Lego Ladies received a special mention in the Core Values and Robot Design categories, finished third on their “Robot Runs” and walked away with the highest honor, the Champions Award.

In addition to chasing their own title, the team has mentored an all-boys fifth-grade team largely made up of their younger brothers, named BroBOTICS.

The boys entered their first FLL competition this year and received the Champion Award at a Woodstock qualifier in December. They, too, will compete in Elgin.