News from the Aurora University community

STEM Partnership School student wins national robotics competition, advances to world championships in Qatar

Posted by on September 23, 2015

World Robot Olympiad national competition

Kaiya Hollister (left) and Jensie Coonradt compete in the World Robot Olympiad national competition in Michigan.

Kaiya Hollister, a fifth grader at the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School, won the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) national competition this past weekend. Team RoboGals was comprised of Hollister and Jensie Coonradt, 9, of Oswego.

The girls met earlier this year at an after-school Lego Robotics program, and quickly decided to sign up for the youth competition, which involves 20,000 teams representing more than 50 countries from around the world. Bringing together Hollister’s mechanical engineering aptitude and Coonradt’s programming skills, they have worked throughout the past four months prototyping, building and testing their robot.

Following the win at nationals, the team will now advance to the world championships in Doha, Qatar this November.

“Lego Robotics is fun, but it is also frustrating and hard at times, so it is the hardest fun I’ve ever had,” said Hollister. “I am excited to go to Qatar to see all the other teams’ robots.”

“This is amazing news and the students and staff at the STEM Partnership School are excited for Kaiya to have this opportunity,” said Arin Carter, director of the STEM school. “It is wonderful that she is able to pursue her interest in robotics.”

For more information on Hollister’s journey, visit