The Galactic Girls +1 Take Top Honors at the North/Central Florida Regional VEX IQ Middle School State Championship

Media Contact:
Kellyann Goring, Coach

Local Team Qualifies for a Spot at the 2023 Vex Robotics World Championship

Tavares,FL – March 18, 2023– Lake County students from Galactic Girls+1 VEX IQ Competition team 70207A, secured the Design Award at the North/Central Florida Regional VEX IQ Middle School state Championship in Clermont, FL this month. The students competed with 68 teams from around North and Central Florida in the State Championship. The Galactic Girls+1 have earned 7 qualification awards for the State Championship this season. This team has also earned the opportunity to showcase their skills and compete at the 2023 Vex IQ Robotics World Championship in Dallas,Texas in April. They are currently ranked 242 out of over 4600 teams worldwide going into the World Championship.

The Galactic Girls+1 is a middle school, home based VEX IQ Competition team comprised of friends Emily Eastham (14), Ella Drawdy (12), Alexis Eastham (12), Ava Pergram (12), and Miles Sabelli (11) and is coached by Kellyann Goring. In the VEX IQ Competition, teams design, build, and code robots using VEX IQ parts to solve an engineering challenge that is presented each year in the form of a game. Teams work together to score points in Teamwork Matches and get to show off their skills individually in driver-controlled and programming Robot Skills Challenges.

In addition to building robots, the optional STEM Research Project and On-Line Challenge components of the VEX IQ Competition encourage students to actively explore an engineering challenge of their choice and share their research findings with event judges and their community. This year, the Galactic Girls+1 entered the Career Readiness On-line Challenge by visiting Luminar, to compare their engineering design process to those of the professionals. What they learned is VEX Robotics is helping them become well prepared for the real-world work force in the STEM field. Their project submission earned them the Second Place spot in the World.

The VEX IQ Competition fosters student development of teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills required to prepare them to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

Kellyann Goring, the team’s coach said, “Every time I see these kiddos compete, I am more and more impressed with their ability to work together as a team, problem solve situations even adults struggle with, and excel above and beyond what expectations may be set before them. VEX Robotics has taught them to advocate for themselves and others. It has taught them their voices are heard, and that they matter. It has given them confidence to set forward and share their knowledge with others. They are being set up for success in the STEM workforce. I am honored to be their coach and to experience this journey with them.”

The Galactic Girls+1 VEX IQ Competition team is a home based team that meets after school and on weekends at various teammates’ houses. They also meet with other teams in Lake County to collaborate and practice. The team is mentored by VRC Team Jelly from Groveland. In addition to being mentioned by another team, the Galactic Girls+1 also mentors teams in the Central Florida area, and with the help of Zoom, across the Globe in the United Kingdom too, including Wardley Robotics who they will soon have the opportunity to meet face to face in Dallas.

“Teamwork, problem-solving, and ingenuity are all on display at a VEX IQ Competition event and students develop these skills all year long by participating on a robotics team,” said Dan Mantz, CEO of the REC Foundation. “Together, with the support of educators, coaches, and mentors, we’re fostering students’ passion for STEM at a young age to ensure that we have a generation that is dedicated to creating new discoveries and tackling life’s future challenges.”

The REC Foundation manages the VEX IQ Competition that many schools participate in around the world. VEX Competitions make up the world’s largest and fastest-growing competitive robotics programs for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges around the world. There are more than 23,000 VEX teams from 58 countries that participate in over 2,300 events worldwide.

If you would like more information about the Galactic Girls+1 or about starting your own home based VEX Robotics team, please contact their coach, Kellyann Goring at

More information about the VEX Robotics Competition is available at

About the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation’s mission is to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, affordable, and sustainable robotics engineering programs.

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