Rolling Meadows High School wins robot competition- again

May 10, 2011 (CHICAGO)

"The whole idea of the program is to get students excited about science and engineering and to pursue careers in science and engineering," Mark Koch, Rolling Meadows Robotics Team, said.

In January, 2,400 high schools around the world began building their robots. They were all given the same parts. The competition comes down to how they used those parts and how many hard hours they put in.

"It's usually 30 to 40 hours a week for the more involved students," Jake Wachlin, Wheeling HS Robotics student, said. "Besides all sorts of other stuff. It's a lot of time."

A lot of time-- but worth every second of creation with help from Motorola engineers. The 5-foot high robot extends up to 10-feet. This program, which includes Prospect and Wheeling high schools, has been so exciting it has changed career dreams.

"Up until I joined First Robotics I wanted to be a veterinarian," Alyssa Zielanski, senior robotics student, said, "and this program completely turned me on to engineering."

The competition at the world's championship was fierce, the super bowl of high school robotics.

"This is an event where every student can go pro," Koch said.

The team won the competition two weeks ago in St. Louis and came home to a huge crowd.

"It was really fun seeing a giant crowd of people there to congratulate us with cameras and everything . . . and doing cheering when we got off the bus and everything," David Greer, senior robotics student, said.

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