Girls Ruled the 2015 MOONBOTS Google Lunar XPRIZE Challenge

Girls go to the Moon to get more ... ??? Smart?
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Google’s Lunar XPRIZE is an international competition to land a privately-owned robot on the Moon with $30 million in prize money. MOONBOTS is the kid version of the STEM-based challenge, and this year’s winning teams comprised more girls than boys!

The competition tasks kids ages 8 through 17 to design and create their own lunar rover “based on a legend or theory that inspires them about the Moon.” The winners get to travel to Japan and meet the teams competing to win the Lunar XPRIZE—an inspiring journey for the talented young winners for sure.

As MOONBOTS announced this morning, these are the 2015 winning teams:


Team GalacTECHs (Tustin, CA): “[T]wo girls and two boys ages 8-11, who imagined a future where it’s common practice for people to vacation at a resort on the moon.” (via XPRIZE)


Linked Lunas (Fort Lauderdale, FL): “[T]win sisters Hadley and Delaney, age 9. Their mission is based on a historical tale and scientific theory that hits close to home—that the earth once had ‘twin’ moons that collided and merged into one.” (via XPRIZE)


Mecaliks (Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico): “[T]hree girls ages 9-12, who were inspired by Mayan cultural beliefs that time is measured by lunar phases.” (via XPRIZE)


Moonshot (Brooklyn, NY and Naples, Italy): “[T]wo boy cousins, ages 10 and 12, who live across the world from each other but share a similar interest in the moon and the way it brings people together—just as it does in their family.” (via XPRIZE)

This is the first time in the competition’s history that more girls have been among the grand prize winners than boys, and it’s a trend we’re happy to see—they inspire us just as much as the Moon and XPRIZE inspire them. Congratulations to all the winners. (And to all the finalists, whose teams you can take a look at over on the MOONBOTS site.)

(via GeekDad, featured image via NASA)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.