Shirland students earn 2nd place in global robotics competition

Local News

SHIRLAND, Ill. (WTVO) — A group of Stateline students takes their after-school activity to the global stage. Shirland Middle School’s robotics team took home second place in a worldwide competition.

We caught up with the winners and their very proud coach.

Robotics team members got in touch with their creative side. The coach says she didn’t hesitate to get her students involved in a global competition after a challenging year due to COVID.

Shirland Robotics Coach Hannah Pals says the team has spent the last year working very hard.

“They far exceeded my expectations I had with not only what they created but how they created it,” said Pals.

The team of four was tasked to create two projects. One to qualify and one to compete.

“We started working on this fall of last year where we joined the competition and tried to win our first project, which was a detector for a car so a street light would turn on when a car was nearby,” said 8th grader Braydon Beck.

The student’s goal of the competition was to create something to help the community during COVID.

Their creation: An automatic desk sanitizer cleaner. With it, they secured second place in the global competition against teams from 17 countries.

“I was amazed because we’re such a small school and we have four people on our team and 50% of it is me and my sister,” said 6th grader Aubrey Carlson. “It was just great. I’m just mind blown. A few tears were shed but I made it out and did it.”

Pals says not only is she proud but she’s excited to bring on even more students to the team.

“We actually had a lot of kids come up and say I wanna be part of robotics next year and I was like ‘that’s awesome!’ So hopefully I get a nice influx for a robotics team and [students] learning how to code and use their educational talents for the greater good,” added Pals.

The students tell us if they decide to compete again next year and meet all the requirements, they’ll automatically qualify for the world championships.

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