Two Lausanne upper school students are continuing the tradition of an alumna while making a difference in middle school robotics as mentors.
Earlier this year, the Lausanne all female middle school robotics team competed at the University of Memphis robotics competition with Dalia Chemaitilly '21 and Elaina Przybyszewski '21 as mentors. A mentorship that grew out of the CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) project of Aynsley Hartney '16.
"They have continued the CAS project of Ainsley through their mentorship and encouragement of middle school girls to participate in the heavily male-dominated field," IB Economics and U.S. History Teacher Dr. Heather A. Price said.
Dalia and Elaina have participated in The LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Competition for the past five years. The first three years as middle school participants and the past two years as high school mentors.
"We were encouraged to join this team in middle school by Aynsley Hartney, who noticed our interest in science and mathematics," Dalia said. "She started this program as a CAS project to encourage girls like us to get involved in fields related to STEM. She was an amazing mentor and we truly enjoyed learning from her."
After becoming high school students, the pair knew they wanted to continue the CAS project. As freshmen, they worked with Anna Hori '18 as co-mentors to grow the program. After Anna graduated, Elaina and Dalia officially became co-mentors with Middle School STEAM teacher Kim Bullard, their teacher proctor.
"We were excited to have been given the opportunity to promote STEM fields for middle school girls like Aynsley did for us," Elaina said. "We will hopefully inspire more girls to get involved in STEM-related professions."
Their work is certainly paying off. On May 4, their two teams, the Deep Fryers (Abby Trot ’24, Mackenzie Mink ’24, Maisie Reigel ’25, Sarah Przybyszewski ’25, and mentored by Elaina ’21) and Space Jelly (Delaney Price ’25, Michelle Liu ’24, Jyotika Maharaj ’23, and mentored by Dalia ’21), competed at the University of Memphis in Medtronic’s LEGO Mindstorms Competition. Both teams completed the course but unfortunately did not place.
However, the girls still left with smiling faces knowing what they need to improve for next year, along with a new found knowledge on brainstorming, designing, building, programming, troubleshooting, teamwork and cooperation.
"We are incredibly proud of our teams for their work and dedication, which has not been unnoticed. It has been a pleasure working with such enthusiastic and bright girls. We cannot wait for next year!" Dalia and Elaina said.