Senator Serrano is honoring Girl Scout Troop 3001, the Tech Hoppers, tomorrow at the Tata Innovation Center on the Cornell Campus for their achievements in robotics and their first place victory in the FIRST Lego League New York City Championships, a competition that challenges kids to present innovative solutions to real-world problems, as well as creating and programming Lego-based robots.
Next week, the troop is heading to the worldwide FIRST Championship in Detroit, the world’s largest celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for students. The team of nine girls in the sixth and seventh grades, meets weekly at the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, where they are mentored and coached by Cornell students and staff. In its four years, the troops robotics program has involved over 15 Girl Scouts and has never turned a girl away because of need or experience.
"As a supporter of empowering girls and women to enter STEM fields, I am very proud of the Roosevelt Island Tech Hoppers," said Senator Serrano. "They serve as a wonderful example to other young students interested in robotics, and regardless of the outcome at the world championship, they have already accomplished a tremendous achievement."
Last year they earned third place overall in the qualifiers and won an award for the team’s creative presentation about their innovative solution to solving the problem of Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) - which gave them a spot in the NY Citywide finals.
This isn't the first time they've been recognized. Last year, to celebrate FIRST’s partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA, the 11 members of Troop 3001’s robotics team were invited to present their work to guests at the Inspire Gala that included FIRST’s founder, inventor Dean Kamen, and the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Meredith Maskara. The group of fifth and sixth graders were also invited to attend the evening’s event, which included a formal dinner and a speech by President Barack Obama.
“It was so amazing,” says 10-year old Lily Kalb. “Obama was up there talking about the FIRST Lego League and how important it is, and then he called out, ‘Where are the girl scouts at?’ We were all standing on our chairs waving, and he waved back. I think I started crying I was so excited.”