Three presidential volunteer service awards, two awards from the rodeo, the state face seal for art, an international dean’s list finalist, leader of the robotics club. Senior Kyna McGill has all kinds of awards under her belt.
McGill started her robotics career on the Brainiac Maniacs, an elementary robotics team that focused on lego robots.
“I’ve been in robotics for around 11 years,” McGill said. “[I] joined robotics in second grade through Girl Scouts. I really liked it and I haven’t been able to leave since.”
Kyna has come a long way since her days at girl scouts robotics . Since her days on the Brainiac Maniacs, she has now become the president of the CRyptonite Robotics team, a team that has won over 100 awards in 20 years.
“I’d say Kyna’s determined, driven, and caring,” Dibacco said. “She’s highly driven in the regard that we want to get to this end goal. [She’s] determined [too]. In robotics we have to overcome a lot of different [problems, such as] monetary things we have to work through…[Finally] she is a leader. She will go to… freshmen and sophomores and try to recruit them and bring them in so they feel the team member aspects. Even this year she’s tried really hard to have team bonding events…just to bring everyone in the robotics family.”
Using these virtues, McGill has been able to get many awards throughout her lifetime, most notably the Dean’s List award. The dean’s list is a very selective award where thousands of people across the world are nominated. Only ten win.
“The Dean’s list award…goes along with how long you’ve been a part of robotics,” Dibacco said. “We choose two students off of our team, then the mentors write a letter of recommendation. Then the students have an interview…with the FIRST [the organization that runs the robotics league] judges. [Kyna] did one interview, then there was a virtual interview after that. We [also] have to submit an application with GPA, involvement in robotics, volunteer[ing], and [activities] outside of robotics.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CRyptonite was not able to go to any in person competitions. Instead, they have been submitting videos of their robot completing smaller challenges that FIRST. In June, however, they will have their first in person competition this year, the Texas Cup.
“I’m most excited about seeing robotics friends from other teams,” McGill said. “I haven’t seen them in close to a year.”
The Texas Cup will be a stand in for the normal robotics championship.
“We’ll play our hardest,” McGill said. “The people that are going to the competition are all seniors but we’re going to have juniors and sophomores and freshman at home watching us so my hope is that we can kind of introduce them to what competitions are like through us through the scouting that they do back at our build site. I’m really hoping that we can just go out and have a really fun time, since it’s going to be our last competition for all the seniors.”