Eleven 4-H teams from DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties took home awards from the annual Illinois 4-H Robotics Competition on April 21 at the University of Illinois. The local 4-H members dominated the event, with three teams being named “top dogs” at their level of competition.
More than 60 teams of middle-school students from across the state participated in this year’s state 4-H ‘DogBot Challenge,’ which combined robotics design and programming with a canine theme.
“The 2016 DogBot challenge required each 4-H team to design a robot and program it to perform agility and obedience tasks similar to that of a trained dog,” said Donna Nuger, 4-H Youth Development Educator with University of Illinois Extension. “Robots completed various obstacles, barked and did tricks. Each successfully completed task earned points in the table event portion of the showcase.”
At Level 2, “Trinity Trailblazers” of DuPage County earned “top dog” honors, claiming both the championship title and best table performance. Members included Elizabeth Berberich, Moriah Berberich, Jacob Reitzel and Max Reitzel of Villa Park; John Campbell of Naperville; Justin Gergen of Lombard; Aidan Groppe and Joseph Kaufman of Westchester; Paul Kalapala of Elmhurst; and David Zimmerman of Northlake. The group is coached by Laura Bennett and John Groppe.
In the Level 1 competition, “Coded Canine” of Herrick Middle School in Downers Grove was named Champion and also earned the top table performance award. 4-H team members include: Allie Busch, Shea Casey, Grace Chalberg, Joey Duncan, Henry Locker, Aisling Kerr, Saoirse Kerr, Paige Sandler, Henry Locker and Joey Duncan. The group is coached by Jill Henry and Natalie Henry Pasano.
Kendall County 4-H team “#Awesome” came out as the top dog in the Rookie Category, winning both the Champion title and top table performance. The team includes William Davis and Josh Greven of Newark; Adam, Audrey and Elijah Hartford of Yorkville; and Kole Hultgren of Plano, and is coached by Anna Hartford.
Complete state results are as follows (tri-county teams in bold):
Champion and Top Table Performance – #AWESOME of Kendall County
Reserve Champion – Brick Basilisks
Reserve Champion – McHenry County Robotic Rovers, NXT
- Engineering Design Award – Harvest Christian Academy of Elgin
Team members: Gunther Bethge, Phoenix Ellis, Ben Laird, Mya Langerfeld, Eddie Leslie, Solomon Miron, Logan Sardina, Julian Singer, Josh Sonnenberg, and Shaun Yun; Leaders: Amanda Birth and Judy Bethge
Programming Award – McHenry County Robotic Rovers, EV3
Teamwork Award – Mechanical Misfits
Team Spirit – Robot Penguin Bears of Kenyon Woods Middle School of Elgin. Members: Danielle Gibson, Antony Handtmann, Elysia Joseph, Kiera Joseph, Emily Kish, Michael Kotschi, and Christian Olivera; Leaders: Tammy Bennett, Kathy Cebulski, and Barkley Mapes
Judges Award – Storm of Kenyon Woods Middle School of Elgin. Members: Adli Acevedo, Daniel Delisi Nick Delisi, Brendon Kirchner, Erica Michareune, Paul Olsen, and Brandon Stover; Leaders: Tammy Bennett, Kathy Cebulski, Barkley Mapes
Judges Award – Magnetron of Abbott Middle School of Elgin.Members: Alex Gambino, Mikal-Jai Echols, Paul Klapperich, Winley Kraspur and Edgar Portillo; Leaders: Anne Herrmann and Bob Herrmann
Judges Award – Walking Robots
Level 1 Category
Champion and Top Table Performance – Coded Canine of Herrick Middle School of Downers Grove
Reserve Champion – Euge,N of Sandburg Middle School of Elmhurst. Members: Maggie Clink, Caroline Collins, Joey Gemini, Hanna Homan, Will Johnson, Jack Jostes, Luke Rodgers, Sam Rodgers, David Rush, and Andrew Trenta; Leaders: Tracy Morser and Elizabeth Marcellus
Reserve Champion – Iron C.O.R.E
Engineering Design Award – Flame Dog Toasters of Abbott Middle School of Elgin. Members: Jesus Diaz, Nicholas Domschke, Ely Greenfeld, Samuel Haberstich, Joseph Lara Quinol, Johnathan Kofie, Taran MacDonald, and Jake Valdez; Leaders: Anne Herrmann and Bob Herrmann
Programming Award – Marshall Putnam Senior Team
Teamwork Award – Ultimat Master Builders
Team Spirit Award – 217 bots
Most Creative Award – Robonators
Judges Award – Robotic Eagles of Ellis Middle School of Elgin. Members: Alfonso Gomez, Christopher Gutierrez, Carlos Loera, Guadalupe Moreno, Alan Perez, Edith Rivera, Alex Ruiz, and Clemente Sanchez; Leaders: Holly Yee and Jacqueline Irizarry
Judges Award – Insert (Name) Here of Sandburg Middle School of Elmhurst. Members: Bradley Dow, Stephanie Longoria, Jake Lorenz, Sam McPherson, Luke Milani, and Calvin Wiersum; Leaders: Tracy Morser and Elizabeth Marcellus
Level 2 Category
Champion and high table score – Trinity Trailblazers
Most Creative Award – Brickheads
Engineering Design Award – 4-H SCREAM: Forget the Dogs. Beware of Robots
“Our local 4-H Robotics program is growing and our 4-H members and volunteers learn and grow with it,” said Nuger of the teams representing DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties. “Every team worked hard and learned from their experiences and from each other. These kids also develop critical life skills, like teamwork, organization, communication, and problem solving. Plus, it’s a fun experience, and youth meet peers from around the state.”
— Suburban 4-H clubs dominate state 4-H Robotics Competition —