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    Teams Making Videos!

    An Introduction to FTC (from a 6th grader's perspective)
    Published on Feb 7, 2014 www.RoboConChicago.com

    RoboCon Chicago logo

    RoboCon Chicago is made up of ten FIRST Robotics teams from three schools. Six of the teams are from Horizon Science Academy McKinley Park, three are from Chicago Math and Science Academy, and one is from Quest Charter Academy in Peoria.

    Our main goal is to provide our students with a door to the engineering world. Almost all of our students are minorities from working-class families. We see FIRST Robotics as a great opportunity for our students to learn and have fun. In addition, we hope our students will qualify for college scholarships by participating in FIRST Robotics.


    Teams Making the News!

    Kane robotics team builds skills, character

    10 Feb 2014 | The Courier-News | UNIVERISTY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION


          ELGIN — If seven years ago, someone had asked Michael and Carol McKellar if they would be coaches of an award-winning, world-renowned robotics team, they likely would’ve laughed. But today, it’s a reality.
         The McKellars are not engineers or technology wizards. They had never even built a robot before. But, the Elgin parents did have strong motivation. The couple’s twins both showed an interest and a talent for robotics after working with a basic kit at the age of 9.
         “Just because it was not our expertise, does not mean we cannot help them pursue it,” said Carol, who added they both have backgrounds in graphic design. “We stepped out of our comfort zone and found something very special for all of us.”
         Today, “got robot?” has grown into a respected team, earning top honors through both 4-H and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competition platforms. The 2013-2014 team is made up of seven Kane County 4-H members, ages 12 to 17, who meet twice a week at the Elgin Technology Center, where the group has a practice space.

    Click here to see the rest of the article...


    Students Competing in Robotics Competition

    Posted Jan. 22, 2014 by Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News

    This article appeared on NewsCenter17, WAND TV's morning news featuring FTC Team 5202, Try To Understand as well as the Argenta-Oreana Qualifier coming up on February 1, 2014.

    -Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-


    Student Bot Builders Shift Into High Gear

    Posted Oct. 22, 2013 by Rose Tibayan in BLACKLINE REVIEW

    It’s that time of year when middle and high school students nationwide get busy building robots. Last Spring a team of Highland Park High School students, who call themselves Beastie Bots, took their robot —known as 3785 — and captured the state title against other bot builders with names like RoboTheosis, Operation Rolling Thunder, and Teen Girl Squad. Now, the math and science whizzes are preparing, yet again, for preliminary bouts from November through January.

    The competitions begin as scrimmages held at schools and other venues in local cities. Teams who have build the the best robots compete in the state finals, and the winner moves on to the world competition in Minneapolis. The robotic competition looks like a sporting event, except the only ones getting bruised and dented are the robots. Team members come dressed in matching uniforms, while cheerleaders, fans, and mascots dance to music in the bleachers.

    See the full article at Blackline Review


    4-H Club churns out engineers

    Posted Oct. 4, 2013 by Lindsey Frick in Material World

    In the corner of a large white room at TechWeek Chicago 2013 was a group of students playing with hand-built robots. It wasn't until I started talking to Jenn Griffin of Octagon Robotics, that I learned the students were part of the 4-H club. Obviously I've been out of the loop because I thought 4-H Club was in existence to churn out farmers, not engineers. I asked Jenn a few questions to help clarify. What I found was yes, 4-H has expanded, but more importantly I learned how Jenn and her husband took STEM education into their own hands.

    "Octagon Robotics was started seven years ago by my husband and I, Tinicko Griffin, as a way to supplement the math and science skills our own kids were not receiving in the public school system. For several years, our team operated out of every room of our home: kitchen, living room, basement, garage, anywhere with available space! Bruce Peterson, a retired engineer, joined us as a mentor in 2011. In January 2012, Dennis Roberson, Vice-Provost with Illinois Institute of Technology, donated space to the team in the basement of a building on campus.

    See the full article at Material World

    FTC Team 116 Crazy Eights


    Cyborg Dreams Fuel La Grange's First Robotics Club

    Posted in the La Grange Patch by Lauren Williamson (Editor) , September 04, 2013 at 10:57 PM
     FTC Team 7089

     Students from Lyons Township High School and Park Junior High will spend the next three months creating a robot to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge.

    Playing with LEGOs isn’t what it used to be—especially if you’ve got the brains of the kids in La Grange’s first robotics club.

    The Cyborg Eagles will spend the next three months engineering a robot out of LEGO MINDSTORMS, among other components, which will compete this December in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST™) Tech Challenge.

    “It’s always been my dream to make my own robot,” said Noah Reardon, 14, a freshman at LTHS. His brother Jonah, 13, is also part of the club.

    Even though the club officially organized this summer, its members previously competed together in a 4H robotics league. About half of the kids go to Park Junior High and the other half attends Lyons Township High School. They work under the guidance of retired electrical engineer Bruce Petersen.

    See La Grange Patch article for the full story.


    RobotC's blog highlight Illinois FTC student

    We had the chance to interview the lead programmer for FTC Team 5037, Kristen McKellar. She is an impressive programmer with a bright future ahead. Check out her story on how her knowledge of ROBOTC helped her win the National 4-H Engineering Challenge …


    FTC Teams Featured at Chicagoland Engineers Washington Awards Banquet



     Washington Engineering Banquet

    Members of FTC team #5037 got robot? pictured with special guest Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski, who is one of the twelve Congressmen and Senators that is an engineer.

    Each year during Engineers Week one of the country's oldest and most prestigious engineering awards, the Washington Award, is conferred upon an engineer(s) whose professional attainments have preeminently advanced the welfare of human kind.  Since 1919, this award has been given to such notables as President Hoover, Orville Wright, astronauts, the inventor of the transistor, the cell phone and more.  FIRST's very own Dean Kamen won the award in 2008.

    On February 21, 2013, the Washington Awards Banquet was held at the University Club of Chicago and along with the presentation of the award, special recognition was given to middle and high school students who participate in STEM programs and competitions throughout the year.  FIRST was there with representatives from each of the programs. 

    FIRST FTC was officially represented by team #5037 got robot? from Elgin, who was the winner of the Inspire Award at the 2012 Illinois Championship Tournament.


    March 9, 2013

    WLS-TV ABC 7 News 

    Technology, engineering students in robotics competition


    Some of Illinois' best and brightest technology and engineering students were on the city's North Side today for a robotics competition. Read more...


    February 9, 2013

    Naperville Sun

    Got robots?

    A lot has happened in those six years, and not just for got robot?, which has grown from a middle school team building robots from LEGOs in the McKellars’ basement to a championship-winning robotics team. The team has seen a growing interest in robotics in the Fox Valley, mentoring up-and-coming middle school teams in the area, leading workshops and organizing a tournament this March for 15 new robotics teams started with a grant in Kane County. And schools have taken an interest in the field, as well, as President Barack Obama announced his “Educate to Innovate” campaign to encourage students to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).. Read more...





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