June 6, 2018 // By David Frankenfield
There’s no special formula for future leaders, but when curiosity, determination, and hard work come together, it can create an opportunity for individuals to discover their passion and achieve great things.
Which is why Magenic is a proud supporter of the exceptional Ponytail Posse.
The Ponytail Posse at the FTC World Championship in Detroit.
The Ponytail Posse is an all-ladies FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team from St. Paul, Minnesota. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization that holds various robotics programs and competitions for students from elementary to high school. FTC involves the coordination of many technical and business orientated disciplines that allows the members to specialize on their interests.
For seven years now, Magenic has proudly sponsored the Ponytail Posse as they have competed in FTC events nationwide. Recently the Ponytail Posse visited for their annual Pancake fundraiser. Each Spring, the team has brightened our mornings by making pancakes for Magenic employees and presenting demos of their robot ‘Stacy’.
Posse members Megan, Sabriyah, and Charlotte making pancakes for the Magenic fundraiser.
The team has been guided under the mentorship of Magenic’s Lead Consultant Norton Lam as Team Coach. Norton believes the FIRST program has been tremendous in providing a hands-on way of developing the team’s interest in the STEM field. He spoke about the associated hashtag, #morethanrobots as a way of explaining the importance of FIRST: “it’s not just about robotics and technical skills, it’s about public speaking, teamwork, and confidence.” The program focuses on presentational skills, speaking with judges, and organizing a detailed engineering notebook that documents the process of building their robot throughout the season. The program empowered the team to carry themselves with confidence. Norton adds, “they are all leaders in their own way.”
This year, the Posse was the first all-female group to win the Minnesota State FTC Championship. They also won 2nd place in the FTC North Super Regional Championship which earned them a spot at this year’s FTC World Championships in Detroit.
The Ponytail Posse competing in the 2018 FTC World Championships in Detroit.
At the World Championship in 2017, The Posse received the judges’ award for “gracious professionalism under fire.” Additionally, they were recognized for their promotional video highlighting The Ponytail Posse Foundation’s FIRST community initiative. Started in 2018, the foundation is committed to an 8-year plan to create sustainable access to FIRST programs in elementary and middle school.
While the Ponytail Posse is disbanding this year as the majority of members are graduating high school, their passion for FTC and the STEM fields carry on. Nancy, a junior this year, is going to mentor a rookie FTC team coached by Norton, and Charlotte, a sophomore, plans on continuing to compete in FTC. The group’s foundation will also continue its goal of providing a sustainable FIRST robotics program to every school in the Mounds View School District.
Graduating members of the Posse are planning on focusing their college degree towards mechanical engineering, entrepreneurship, graphic design, marketing, and computer science.
Heeral, one of the graduating members, talked about the influence the team has had on her, “Being on a robotics team has given me exposure to many diﬀerent technologies including CAD and a little bit of Java programming. Through my wonderful experience, I am excited to go into college as a computer science major”.
Magenic is proud to have supported the Ponytail Posse and watched them grow into champions and confident leaders of the future. We wish them well on their futures endeavors and will continue to support them in any way we can.