Gabby Riaz is a key member of the Dexter HS robotics team, the Dreadbots. As the leader of the Marketing team, she helps the team run smoothly and successfully in raising awareness of the club and building relationships between their team and others.
“As Team Captain, I am a link between students and adults to make sure any problems within the team are addressed,” she says. “I also help to plan team building activities for students to become closer.”
So as the “leader of the Marketing team,” how would Gabby recruit future Dreadbots.
“The robotics team teaches great skill sets, whether you are interested in engineering/programming or not,” says Gabby, a junior at DHS. “The team offers a variety of opportunities to learn vital skills; to handle problems efficiently, to work together with a group, to take on responsibilities, to become a good leader, and to communicate effectively.
“It’s extremely useful to learn how to use certain tools as well, such as using a drill properly. Even though I’m not going into a STEM field, I am very glad that I joined the team.”
Gabby was introduced to robotics during a lunch presentation at Mill Creek.
“I liked the idea of learning how to use all kinds of tools,” she said. “It seemed very useful even if I didn’t go into engineering.”
The Dreadbots have engineered another very successful season.
The Dreadbots, along with the alliance teammates – the Code Red Robotics from Milan and the MC Hammers, from Michigan Center – finished first overall out of 40 teams at the FIM District Belleville Robotics Event (FIRST in Michigan District) earlier this month. They are preparing for the upcoming Ypsi-Lincoln Districts (March 21-23) with a good shot at making it to states April 11-13 at Saginaw Valley.
“So far, we’ve done well with planning, communicating, and executing our ideas,” says Gabby, explaining why and how the Dreadbots have been so successful this year. “We go through a process after the game reveal to come up with ideas, then narrow them down as a group to a few of the best ones. From there, our team dedicates a lot of time to building two robots: a practice bot and a competition bot. Because we have a practice bot to test our ideas, we can work with them to improve. Through these things, we end up with a great robot.”
The Dreadbots have been one of the top robotics programs in the area for years.
“In my time, our team has consistently built great robots,” Gabby says. “We almost always end up in the finals matches in our district events, and we’ve always outdone ourselves at State and World Championships. I’ve also seen tremendous growth in my peers and myself, which is amazing.”
The goal for the rest of the year is to make it to Worlds and create relationships with as many teams as possible.
As for Gabby’s long-term goals, she likely will start off her college life at Washtenaw Community College and then moving on to either U-M or MSU.
“I want to study psychology as a major and maybe someday get a degree in pastry arts (baking),” she said.