The student news site of Midlothian Heritage High School

The Roar

The student news site of Midlothian Heritage High School

The Roar

The student news site of Midlothian Heritage High School

The Roar

Going Above and Beyond

Local Junior receives STEM award
Zoe Chandler received a Stand Up STEM Award from Texas Girls Collaborative Project. This Project is also hosting the Texas Women and Girls in STEM Summit, which is where Chandler will receive her award. – Creative Commons

On December 1st, 2023, Zoe Chandler (11) was awarded the Stand Up in STEM High School Individual award. She received the award through the Texas Girls Collaborative Project due to her efforts to promote STEM mentorship for girls and balance the ratio of girls and boys on the robotics team.

Chandler is the president of the award-winning FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics team at Midlothian Heritage High School. Although Chandler is the president of the robotics team, she said she was very surprised to win the award.

“I was shocked, I didn’t even know I was nominated for the award,” Chandler said. “One day I just got an email, saying that I had won a STEM award.”

Although surprised about winning the award, Chandler was very excited to receive it at the ceremony. She says that STEM is one of her biggest passions and she hopes to have a career in that field. Chandler also says that she’s always been interested in STEM ever since she was a child.

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“When I was little my favorite word was why,” Chandler said. “I always wanted to know how things worked and what made things happen.”

Chandler also says that she’s always tried to learn as much about STEM as possible on her own. However, she also states that before coming to the Heritage robotics team, she hadn’t really applied her STEM knowledge.

“I’d been to some STEM camps when I was in middle school but that was about it,” Chandler said. “When I heard about the robotics program in 8th grade, I wanted to join.”

Robotics teacher, Dr. Bryan Rogers, is also very happy for Chandler. He also found out about her winning through an email and other people telling him. Rogers says that she received the award because of her leadership skills and her love for STEM.

“I originally recommended her for the award and we’re all very proud of her,” Rogers said. “Zoe has a bright future in STEM and has great leadership skills.”

Rogers says he started the robotics program here because he wanted to share his love of STEM to the students here and prepare them for the growing STEM field. He said that he’s always been interested in robotics due to his love of mechanics and nature.

“It’s so great getting to watch these kids learn about STEM and apply their knowledge,” said Rogers. “We started with small robots through the BEST competition and now we’re building larger robots through the FIRST competition.”

Rogers also talks about how he tries to let the kids in robotics work on their own to learn critical thinking skills and allows them to elect their own leaders. That is how Zoe became president of the robotics team, she was elected.

“She was elected by the vast majority of the robotics team,” Kate Phillips (11) said. “I think only one person voted against her.”

Phillips says she’s known Kate for a while, but got to know her more in freshman year. She also talks about what a good leader Chandler is.
“She is just in general a very good leader,” Phillips said. “She understands where we need to go with our program and she is very compassionate and personable with everyone.”

Phillips also talks about how well driven Chandler is as president. However, Phillips isn’t the only member of robotics who thinks Chandler is a great leader, Gregory Guy (11), also thinks so.

“Zoe is really good leader,” Guy said. “She can also do lots of stuff; she can plan, she can guide, she can lead, while also coding the entire robot.”

Zoe is a good leader in many ways, as well as a excellent student. Other than her Stand Up in STEM award, Chandler has also been recognized by congress for achieving 100 hours of community service and she helps with robotics presentations for the elementary and middle schools.

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