BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Youth from 30 teams across Illinois demonstrated their learning, celebrated their accomplishments, and interacted with others who share an interest in robotics at the 4-H Hyrdobot Robotics Competition held at the Interstate Center on the McLean County Fairgrounds on May 13.
The competition theme this year tasked youth with adopting a conservationist mindset as part of the competition.
“This generation of minds will be charged with saving our oceans, and making the planet a cleaner, healthier place,” said University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist Keith Jacobs. “And this year’s competition will put youth in the mindset of conservationists and oceanographers as they built an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle that can perform a series of tasks.”
Illinois youth ages 8-18 competed in teams of three to ten youth at three levels of competition. Teams competing at the Rookie level had never competed in a 4-H, FLL/FTC/FRC competition. Those competing in the Level 1 & 2 advanced levels had previously competed in those types of competitions.
Competition judges were on hand to score events and determine the competition category winners. Teams were evaluated on Table Performance Judging, Technical Judging, and Teamwork Judging to determine the champion categories.
“This competition is perfect for different skill levels as the expectation is that teams design a robot and program that reflects their current level of learning,” says Jacobs. “The challenge is designed to be open-ended and includes a lot of room for creativity, which the judges love to see.”
Level 1 Champions went to the 4-H McDoco Bots of McDonough County, Level 2 Champions went to the Marshall-Putnam 4-H Robotics Seniors of Marshall County, and the Rookie Champions went to CFI-2 of Cook County.
Level 1 Reserve Champions went to the Mechanical Misfits of Will County, the Level 2 Reserve Champions went to the Got Robot? of Kane County, and the Rookie Reserve Champions went to the Richland County 2 of Richland County.
Other category wins included:
The Level 1 Programming Award went to the Ecobots of Cook County, the Level 2 Programming Award went to the Coders of the Last Alliance of Macoupin County, and the Rookie Programming Award went to the Cybernauts of Peoria County.
The Level 1 Overall Robot Design Award went to ROWVA Tigerbot Coders of Knox County, the Level 2 Overall Robot Design Award went to the High Voltage AA of Woodford County, and the Rookie Overall Design Award went to the Richland County 1 of Richland County.
The Level 1 Teamwork Award went to the MLG of Cook County, the Level 2 Teamwork Award went to the Stephenson County Seniors of Stephenson County, and the Rookie Teamwork Award went to the Stephenson County Juniors of Stephenson County.
The Level 1 Best Table Performance went to 4-H McDoco Bots of McDonough County, the Level 2 Best Table Performance went to the Got Robots? of Kane County, and the Rookie Best Table Performance went to High Voltage AAA of Woodford County.
The Judges’ Choice Award went to the Abbott Argonauts of Kane County.
The Team Spirit Award went to both the Turtles that Sank the Titanic of Champaign County and Coders of the Caribbean of Macoupin County.
The Most Creative Award went to the Marshall-Putnam 4-H Robotics of Marshall County.
Those interested in exploring robotics are encouraged to reach out to their local Extension Office to connect with a 4-H robotics experience.
About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.
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Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.