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Student teams go head-to-head with robots

Team Machination 6994, a La Salle County 4-H robotics team, placed first in the Illinois FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Robotics competition at Illinois Valley Community College.
Team Machination 6994, a La Salle County 4-H robotics team, placed first in the Illinois FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Robotics competition at Illinois Valley Community College.

A La Salle County 4-H robotics team took the title in four out of five matches at a recent competition.
Team Machination 6994 competed in the Illinois FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Robotics competition at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby. One of the team's scores placed highest for the day's event. Coupled with their four match wins, the team claimed first place and will move forward to the Western/Central West League Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Manual Academy, 811 S. Griswold St., Peoria.
The FIRST Tech Challenge is designed for children who want to compete head to head with robotics, using a sports model. Teams of up to 15 students are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. 
The robot kit is reusable from year to year and is programmed using Java for Android Studio or Java-based MIT App Inventor. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategies and build robots based on sound engineering principles. 
Awards are given for robot performance as for well as for community outreach, design and other real-world accomplishments.

To learn more about robotics opportunities through the 4-H program, call Toni Pienta, 4-H and youth development coordinator, at the University of Illinois Extension La Salle County office, 815-433-0707.

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