Goonettes host all girls robotics invitational


The Goonettes are ready for action in the 4th Annual Goonettes Invitational.

Trinity Drew, Staff Writer

Woodhaven Robotics hosted its annual Goonettes Invitational all girls robotics competition in early October and the Goonettes showed up ready for the action.  

The Goonettes Invitational was specifically organized to celebrate girls in STEM and give these young women an opportunity to showcase their talents, and in some cases, step out of their comfort zones. Competitions help encourage female students to take a more active role in the driving and mechanical aspect of their team robots. 

The Woodhaven Robotics team launched its first Goonettes Invitational in 2019 as a means of encouraging women in STEM, as STEM careers are traditionally male-dominated, and the outpouring of support by area schools and the robotics community has been strong.  

For the tournament itself, there are multiple rounds of robotics competition. All aspects of the competition require a drive team to remotely control the robot to complete a series of tasks for points. These competitions consist of rotating alliances with other school teams, 2 blue alliances, 2 red alliances, and 2 human  players per team. Alliances help each other beat the other alliance despite the fact that they’re also competing with each other as they complete a series of tasks.

One such task is the basketball competition during which the drive team stands behind the glass wall and tries to maneuver the robot to pick up balls and shoot them through hoops. The high hoop earns 3 points; the low hoop earns 2 points. 

Goonette Brooklyn Casey describes the competition as “a friendly fight.” 

One might wonder what the Goons are doing during this all-girl competition. The Goons can be found in the stands cheering their teammates to victory, running the Hands-On Hallway where children can learn about robotics, and serving as support teammates on the competition floor. The competition itself may be an all girls event, but the day does not happen without all Goons on deck. Robotics gives self confidence to team members because they all need each other and work together and this makes everyone feel needed in a way. With such a strong sense of community and team support, it is no surprise Casey describes robotics as her second home.