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Locy’s robotics knowledge takes her to world championship

Kameron Locy (center) works with the Carnegie Mellon University Girls of Steel robotics team in the world championship competition in Houston. Photo provided by Kameron Locy.
Kameron Locy (center) works with the Carnegie Mellon University Girls of Steel robotics team in the world championship competition in Houston. Photo provided by Kameron Locy.

Senior Kameron Locy was inspired by her mother to get involved in robotics.

“My mom got me involved in robotics and introduced me to the Girls of Steel Robotics team in eighth grade,” Locy said. 

Flash forward several years, and last month Locy competed with Carnegie Mellon University’s Girls of Steel FIRST robotics team at a world championship competition in Houston. The team’s first place win at the regional competition allowed them to advance to world championships. 

Locy first heard of the CMU’s Girls of Steel robotics team while at a STEM convention, and she decided she wanted to join shortly after. When CMU’s team learned they were going to the world competition, Locy was excited about the opportunity to compete with other teams from all around the globe.

“It was great community building, experiencing that with all your friends,” Locy said.

For the world championships, teams had to build a 120-pound robot within six weeks. The robot had to be able to shoot discs at a target hub to score points. The robot could also balance on a  chain to earn additional points.  

Even though the CMU team did not win, Locy is still happy with her team’s overall performance.

“I think we did really well individually. We lost against the 1 seed by one point. Even though we lost we still did really well.” 

The CMU team is composed of 40 girls who are from about 20 school districts in the Pittsburgh area. The team is split into a business and technical side, and Locy is a member of the technical side as the electrical lead. 

“As the electrical lead, I help manage the electrical components, like wiring,” Locy said. “It is really fun.”

Her time on the Girls of Steel robotics team has helped her prepare for her chosen career.

“I found my love for electrical engineering because of my role on the Girls of Steel robotics team. I feel that it will help me have prior knowledge in that field,” said Locy. 

In the past, Locy also had been a part of Baldwin’s SeaPerch team. Baldwin gifted teacher Jared Hoffman said the earlier work Locy did on the Seaperch team will help her in electrical engineering as a career. 

That Baldwin team provided “a very small sample of what robotics can be, but more than anything it gave her team building skills and communication skills,” Hoffman said. 

Hoffman complimented Locy’s work ethic and leadership skills.

“I’d say one of the biggest things for Kameron is she really takes the initiative,” Hoffman said. “She leads with confidence and maturity.”

Her CMU teammate Ava Miller agrees.

“I’m sure that her brilliance, academic mind, and kindness are what makes her such a good leader,” Miller said.

She said Locy is also a good teacher and friend for her teammates. 

“One day that I was really struggling, Kameron noticed this, and instead of making me feel bad, or even making a big deal of it, she took me aside, gave me a hug, and let me know she would be there for me,” Miller said

CMU teammate Sunny Zhao also praises Kameron’s knowledge and ability to work under pressure.

“We had to replace an entire subsystem of our robot during a competition and she had to quickly rewire that whole section in between our matches, which definitely required a lot of hard work, resilience, and quick decision making under a lot of pressure. It really helped save our robot,” Zhao said

Locy will miss her time on the CMU team and hopes to put the lessons she learned to good use, while pursuing her degree at Penn State. 

“I am really grateful for everything they have done for me, and all of the skills they provided me with,” Locy said.

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About the Contributors
Hailey Dietz
Hailey Dietz, Staff Writer
Staff Writer Hailey Dietz is a senior and a second-year Purbalite member. In her free time she can be found swimming, reading, and participating in color guard.
Lucas Ovitsky
Lucas Ovitsky, Staff Writer
Sophomore Lucas Ovitsky is a first year Staff Writer. He can be found playing trumpet or listening to music.
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