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A middle-school robotics team gives a smart-but-shy eighth grade girl a chance to learn self-confidence, and her coach an opportunity to heal the wounds left by his own mentor--who coaches a rival team.
For the first fifteen seconds of eighth grade, ZOE expects this year to be as dull as the last. Then her new friend NISHA introduces her to Robot League, where teams of kids program robots they build from plastic "Bricko" construction sets. Every year the league tests robots against a new tabletop course of obstacles, puzzles and traps.The two girls next recruit WILL, home-schooled author of a popular social media plug-in app. Will's grad-school brother DART volunteers to coach the new team—Robo4ce. He won Robot League championships himself as a kid on Ton of Bricks, the team of the ruthless Coach KANG.
Robo4ce wins the tiebreaker. Kang complains, citing Robo4ce's knowledge of what Ton of Bricks' score would be, but Tripp points out he tweeted the number last night. Humiliated, Kang departs (with an assist from their malfunctioning robot). Nisha, impressed by Tripp's ability to fake a timestamp on a tweet, asks him if he'd like to switch teams next year. Zoe, impressed by him standing up to his coach, forgives him, and implies she might consider another date...after the nationals.