Fairfax County all-girls robotics team to compete in world finals in Thailand

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An all-girls robotics team from Northern Virginia is heading to Thailand to take on the world.

The team, called Absolute Zero, is made up of Neha Bhat and Nithya Chintalapati, both students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Arlington. They recently placed first in the regular senior category at the World Robot Olympiad Nationals, making them eligible to compete in the WRO World Finals, which is being held in Thailand in November.

"We didn't think we would actually make anywhere near where we did," Bhat said.

"We were really surprised," added Chintalapati.

Their robot uses a system of sensors to perform various tasks. Making matters especially tricky, there are no controls. Once the robot is built and programmed, it has to move on its own.

Bhat and Chintalapati also happen to be the only all-girls team representing the United States. It's part of why they started a program called STEMPowering Girls - which is a section of the non-profit organization Robotics For Youth - and is dedicated to introducing girls of all ages to science, technology, engineering and math.

"We have workshops and we teach girls of all ages different things about robotics and programming," Bhat explained.

The team is now working to raise money for their trip to the World Finals in Thailand. If you'd like to donate, go to www.gofundme.com/help-all-girl-robotics-team-compete.