The Tables Start to Turn

For our future tournaments, we need our Lego League Tables! This involved a great deal of teamwork, multi-tasking, and people finding each other’s items. We all split into teams of two and one team worked on one set of bags. It seemed focused and pretty quiet in the room, and everyone almost finished with their parts. It may take more than 1 week, but everyone is working like there’s no tomorrow! I honestly think the tables will be done next week.


It was very fun working with my partner, Grace! Even though we lost a few pieces, we worked to together to find a substitute! Even though our build has tan colored eye-lids, it still has an amazing part on the board! The build may be a walrus, but we can’t quite figure it out! It was so fun building and trying to figure out which pieces go where. I can admit that it was very fun!


We heard screams of joy where partners finished building. One set was a pink pig, another was a dog who could sit, and another was a forest biome with a cliff! Those pieces all come together to build a 3-D work of art! When people work together, people can make something amazing and out of this world in no time.


We also need to thank a huge fan and an awesome helper! Ms. Kinney was our sub when Mr. Lane and Mrs. Scofield were out. She was amazing with us and encouraged us all the way! Through our struggles that day, to the encouraging thoughts she pointed out, Ms. Kinney was an amazing help, and we will gladly ask her to come again!


Until Next Time Folks!

Hannah (Panda)


FLL Kickoff

Last Saturday my mom and Mr. Lane took us to the First Lego League Kickoff at ASU. We got there and had some slight difficulties with the parking (courtesy to my mom and her deficiency for any sense of direction) Anyways, we got there and there were so many people in the building. We walked into the presentation room and were immediately drawn over to the photo booth advertising the Animal Allies theme for the year.


Hilary Mitchell from FLL gave us a preview about what was going to be happening in the competition. Meaning what the board was going to look like and what some of the challenges would be. Then we were given a schedule for all the workshops. We went to one really cool one where four adults with careers involving animals and how we can help them and do research about them. My mom and Mr. Lane also went to learn about how you can become an effective coach. We the kids decided to sit that one out!

After we ate lunch and we went to the last workshop. It was really neat to see all the parts of the programming app that we had never known how to use before that. We had this one great program where we “discretely” had Mr. Lane stand at the end of the table. The robot shot plastic balls at him, it was really funny!

Going to this function was truly an amazing experience. It was neat to get a sneak peek at all the amazing things we have planned for the next few months!



Animal Allies Robot Game Missions

On Saturday Mrs. Scofield, myself, Ella, and Manasi attended the FLL Season Kickoff at ASU. It was an exciting day because this is the official kickoff to our FLL season. We all got pretty excited seeing the table, going over the missions, and learning from some veteran teams. Mrs. Scofield and myself could not be more excited to get this season rocking and rolling. We know our objective is to have both teams advance to the state tournament in January. It is going to take some work, but we are on our way.

Click here to watch the video of the robot missions and points.


Shark Transport – Shark and tank completly in target (7 points)

  • Tank and shark in target #2 (10 points)
  • If a target score is earned – shark is touching only the tank floor and no wall (20 points)
  • Nothing is ever allowed to touch the shark except the tank.

Service Dog – The warning fence is down (15 points)

  • Robot has completely crossed fence from west, after traveling between the barriers.

Animal Conservation – Two identical animals are completely on the same side (20 points per pair)

  • Each pair must be created through rotation of the animal conservation mission model.
  • Both teams get points for all pairs.

Feeding – A piece of food is completely in a target area (10 points per piece)

  • If multiple pieces of food in one area, all must match each other.

Biomimicry – The biomimicry wall completely supports the weight of the white gecko (15 points)

  • The biomimicry wall supports all of the weight of the robot (32 points)
  • For an object to score (white gecko or robot), no part of it may be in contact with anything but the biomimicry wall/or green gecko.
  • Exception: Two scoring objects may be in contact with each other.

Milking Automation – Milk and manure have rolled out (15 points)

  • Milk has rolled out, but not manure (20 points)
  • The robot’s only movement of the milk and/or manure came by moving the red lever.

Panda Release – Slider looks fully open (clockwise) (10 points)

Camera Recovery – Camera completely in base (15 points)

Training and Research – Dog and trainer are completely in training and research area (12 points)

  • Zoologist completely in training and research area (15 points)

Manure – Disc shaped manure samples completely in training and research area (15 points per piece)

  • Only one manure sample can be transported at a time.

Bee Keeping – Bee is on beehive and no honey in beehive (12 points)

  • Bee is on beehive and honey is completely in base (15 points)
  • Only one option counts.

Prosthesis – Prosthesis is fitted to the pet and not held by ref  (9 points)

  • Prosthesis fitted to the pet and completely in its farm target (15 points)
  • Only one option counts.

Seal – Completely in base and not broken (1 point)

Milk in Base – All three milk containers in base (1 point)

Milk on the Ramp – All three milk containers supported by the ramp (2 points)

  • All three milk containers supported by the ramp and nothing else supported or touching the ramp (3 points)

Manure – 12 manure samples completely in training and research area (5 points)

Penalties: A team gets penalties for interrupting the robot. The referee places one manure sample in white triangle as a penalty object.

Not more than 5 penalties per match.

Penalty points = -6 per manure piece. 

~Mr. Lane




zSpace Virtual Reality: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Last week, we received the chance to undergo the unique and fascinating virtual reality program known as zSpace. Everyone was extremely excited to use modern technology created with the help of countless talented females. When the time came, our guide, Thessa Monaco, escorted us to the company’s portable bus and explained that with the help of zSpace, we would be able to perform multiple exciting and educational activities in a one-of-a-kind 4D experience.


Absolutely thrilled, we open the doors and were immediately speechless. The inside was huge! Its white walls and huge tech screens gave the portable a futuristic look. We all picked partners and nearly tripped over each other trying to get to a station. After putting on our glasses and picking up the stylist, we began exploring and found that it was everything we would have hoped for. With options, such as virtually dissecting animals and receiving a close look at various parts of the human body, time absolutely flew by. This experience was extremely gratifying and further influenced us all to continue pursuing a future in computer science.

It is for these reasons that we all want to thank you Mrs. Monaco. You opened our eyes and inspired us all. zSpace is a phenomenal program and we hope that they are able to provide the same message to girls of all kinds across the globe. We are so grateful to you for giving us this experience!

~Kendall (7th Grade)        


Moxie Girls @ the D.O.

This past Wednesday morning a few of the Moxie Girls had the opportunity to speak at the District Office for all of the K-12 administrators for the entire district. Last week Dr. Tseunis spoke about what was going on at Sierra Verde with the Moxie Girls and they asked if we could do a 10 minute presentation on the Moxie Girls. We were bummed we could not bring all of the girls to the District Office, but they were all represented very well. Giving me and Mrs. Scofield only ten minutes to talk is ludicrous since we can barely talk about the weather in ten minutes. We did our best to paint a picture of the importance of getting more females into Computer Science and STEM related careers.


This is such a great picture!!! I wish I did not look like a secret service agent.

Here are the slides we presented to the K-12 administrators.

We took Onella from 6th grade, Ella from 7th grade, and Kendall from 7th grade. Just to give you an idea of how powerful our students words were here is Kendall’s speech.

“Hello, my name is Kendall and I’m a 7th grader at Sierra Verde STEM Academy. This year our school took a huge leap in the field of Computer Sciences by creating Moxie Girls, an all-female high-tech organization in which 6th – 8th graders receive a hands on experience with various forms of modern technology. Thus far, we have coded using scratch on and were introduced to a civil engineering student pursuing her masters at ASU. In the future, we plan to compete in various robotics competitions and will additionally meet more talented women who help to inspire us to continue studying STEM and computer science. As of now, Moxie Girls has taught me that its not your gender that matters, but rather how hard you are willing to work. Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to. Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you concerning Moxie Girls. I am throughly grateful for the chance to interact with so many talented ladies who have the potential to eventually change the world.”


#csforall #moxiegirls #gotmoxie #goosebumps

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The Future

We had to rush back to school to get there before the bell. Dr. Tseunis kept emailing me telling the girls were the stars of the day. Everyone was talking about the Moxie Girls. I was floored. As we were speaking it was amazing to look out in the crowd. Everyone in the crowd was on the edge of their seat wanting more. The Moxie Girls were confidant and spoke so eloquently to a crowd of more than one hundred people. They are the future of the Computer Science World. The final email from Dr. Tseunis said “not a few, but several schools want to get a Moxie Girls club started at their school.”

Mrs. Scofield and myself are in awe these girls are already having an impact on females in computer science to a degree that we will never truly understand. I have have sat and spent some time thinking of the impact of the Moxie Girls and I cannot truly grasp what is going on right now. These girls are blowing up and we have not even got started.

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This is a great picture because Mrs. Scofield and myself are smiling as we share about the impact the Moxie Girls are already having. The best part of this picture is the three administrators having a conversation about females in computer science. These girls are doing their jobs.

~Mr. Lane


Moxie Girls (Community Spotlight)

For the month of September the Moxie Girls were featured as the Community Spotlight story. Patty Crawford did an amazing job painting a picture of the origins of this club, the community partnerships, the kids, and the direction where we are headed. It was a great way to kick off September seeing our girls in the spotlight where they belong.

Moxie Girls is one of the hottest new clubs on campus for 6-8th grade girls. The idea of an all-girls computer club started with 3 girls last year in the Lego Club. The First Lego League, which is an organization that teaches robotics to kids through research and teamwork, was predominantly filled with boys. Hannah Galligan, 7th grader and one of the original 3 Lego Girls said, “My favorite activity was building my own robot, programming it, and having the robot navigate an obstacle course.” Sierra Verde 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Rob Lane, and active volunteer parent, Mrs. Christy Scofield, began to see an opportunity unfold to help change the mind-set of girls to consider computer based careers. Mr. Lane and Mrs. Scofield conducted research for area grants and the idea of Moxie Girls was born.


Mr. Lane said, “How do we give 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls the opportunity to overcome the gender discrepancy in the computer science field? We need a mental shift.” Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Arizona Cardinals, 23 Sierra Verde middle school girls are participating in the year-long inaugural Moxie Girls club this year. Mr. Lane shared, “In only our second week of meeting, I am blown away by the success and enthusiasm of these girls.”

Moxie Girls is a mentor-based club that exposes middle school girls to powerful and accomplished women in the comp sci profession. Parent and co-organizer Christy Scofield said, “Last week we had a civil engineer student from ASU share her chosen profession through a Power Point presentation that showed female roles in the tech sector and challenges in the field. Afterward, one of the girls told me that she had never considered a position as a civil engineer and had no idea what they did. Now she can see herself in what is traditionally a ‘guy’ job.”


The Moxie girls have already had a mini hack-a-thon where the girls wrote 1594 lines of code in an hour. The next presentation will be from zSpace – 3D virtual reality learning. Other female STEM professionals that are slated to present to our Moxie Girls this year include mentors from Google, Microsoft, Drone Girl, American Airlines, Target, First Lego League, TEAL, Rising Tycoons, Sylvan, and Litas for Girls. SV Moxie Girls are always looking for more business mentors to join our presentation team, so please contact Mr. Lane if you have ideas.

Mrs. Scofield adds, “Our short term goal is to expand the horizons of these girls to see their options differently. By incorporating the experiences of powerful, successful women in the current work force, we are not only developing these girls’ computer science knowledge, but we are honing their soft skills as well. Collaboration, problem-solving and creativity skills are encouraged in a very social and peer-oriented environment to teach them how to be a cohesive team. They are having so much fun that they don’t realize how much they are learning.”


Word of the early success of the Sierra Verde Moxie Girls is spreading. Dr. Tseunis explains, “This week, 3 of the Moxie Girls will present what their new all-girl computer science club is accomplishing to the monthly meeting of Deer Valley Unified School District Administrators so that other schools might create their own Moxie Girls. Over 100 Deer Valley principals and administrative staff will be learning from our middle school girls on how to bridge gender gaps in traditionally male computer science careers.”

Magical Marketing owner, Brian Hadley, has offered to donate Moxie Girl t-shirts for all 23 girls to show the support of the local business community. Thank you!


Moxie Girls is full. Now what? Co-organizers Mr. Lane and Mrs. Scofield have a long term goal of encouraging all students, boys and girls alike, to consider avenues toward computer science occupations. So if you are not a Moxie Girl already, or even a girl at all, here are some places students and parents can turn to help a young computer science student get involved and learn more:

Said one parent after the 2nd Moxie Girl meeting, “My 7th grade daughter came home with Language Arts Teacher, Ms. Chesbro’s challenge in mind, ‘How are you going to be a leader in life?’ . My daughter said to me, ‘Mom, this is the club that is going to show me how.'”

-Reach out to Mr. Lane at or Mrs. Scofield at to ask questions and get pointed in the right direction. There are many options for our kids to explore computer science fields.


-STEM Club. Mr. Foote contact

-Code Combat Club. Ms. Badger contact

-Honeywell Fiesta Bowl Aerospace Challenge meets Tues and Wed mornings for 6th-8th graders. Mr. Lyons and Mrs. Anderson contacts

-1st, 2nd grade Coding Club. Meets Thurs. 3:30-5:00, S. Smith contact

-3rd, 4th grade Coding Club. Meets Tues. 3:30-5:00. S. Smith contact

-Sept. – Legos Exploration Through Creation. Thurs. 3:30-4:30

-April – Introduction to Lego Engineering for Kids. Thurs. 3:35-4:35

-4th qrade – Primary Programmers (1st and 2nd grade) with the DASH Robot, Mayfield contact

Event and online programs



-Go to area Sci-tech festivals

-Sylvan Robotics courses

-Google search area computer science offerings for kids

-You tube videos


-Litas for Girls

~Mr. Lane

Last Saturday Mrs. Scofield and myself checked out a three month coding school that will be opening in Scottsdale. They had an open house and as a school we were looking into potentially partnering with them to create a Computer Science Curriculum for our students. Coder Camps started in Seattle. They also have locations in San Francisco and Houston. The Scottsdale location will tap into the tech industry that is growing here in the valley. There are thousands of tech jobs that are open and cannot be filled because companies cannot find the skilled workers to fill these jobs. It is an exciting time for computer science and the valley. Will Phoenix become a mini Silicon Valley?

I got a chance to test out the new Oculus Rift. I love virtual reality and the oculus Rift just blew me away. Facebook purchased the oculus Rift and this is the future of all gaming. Students today are no longer just creating video games or apps they will be creating Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality games and apps.

Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality

Now there has been a lot of confusion as to what Augmented Reality is and what Virtual Reality is.

Augmented Reality – is a combination of virtual reality and your real world surroundings. It basically adds virtual additions to the world. The best part is that you get to interact with both and you still have the ability to tell the difference.

Examples of AR would be Google Glass and Microsoft Halolens.

Virtual Reality – on the other hand ignores the real world. It transports you somewhere else entirely. You have been removed and you can interact in a virtual world.

Examples of VR are the Oculus Rift and Google cardboard.

Now imagine this was your football experience every Sunday.

The one thing we did learn from this experience is that Mrs. Scofield is not ready for Virtual Reality.


It was a little too real. She ripped that thing off in a hot second.


Now she was a fan of Augmented reality.

The Moxie Girls will work on the Soft Skills that tech companies look for when they hire new applicants. They do not always hire those who are the best programmers. They are looking to hire those who demonstrate the following soft skills. As a school and a club this is our focus with our students.

  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Persistance

How would you do solving these questions?

An example of questions one might face when being interviewed for a tech job.

~Mr. Lane