Rockford high school students compete in a battle of robots

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A local high school held a challenge that put students’ brains to the test.

Students used their stem skills to create a robot.

“It has been a long journey…rocky journey,” said James Bradley of Robotics Team 7115. “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs along the way, but I think as a team we’ve grown a lot, it’s been really nice to see.”

Bradley is a senior at Rockford Christian High School, and he said he hopes to become a prosthetist, making prosthetics for people.

Physics and engineering teacher Keith Jeske said Saturday’s “Tech Challenge” has been years in the making. He called it a sporting event for the mind.

“It gives students training and experience in engineering and computer programming in building, events they get to try out being engineers,” Jeske said.

Saturday’s challenge prepared the students for other competitions that could lead them to state. There are 10 teams, and each of them will go up against one another in five matches, as well as times where opponents will also be their allies.

Jeske said it teaches all the students how to be a team player.

“We practice what is called gracious professionalism, so students help out other teams,” Jeske said. “The scoring is somewhat complex, but you benefit from the other teams doing well.”

Bradley said the goal is to collect blocks and stack it onto a three-tier target. They will also be using a camera to detect a rubber duck.

“Through teamwork we were able to solve a lot of problems that we wouldn’t have been able to individually,” Bradley said. “So, you know, getting to this point and competing against other teams as well, it’s really exciting.”

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