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Area students participate in robotics scrimmage

Huntley High School sophomore Nathaniel Zawarus installs a color competitor’s tag on Huntley Team 5’s robot before taking it to an advanced round during the recent McHenry County College 2019 Robotics Scrimmage High School event. Team 5 tied for first place with Huntley Team 8.
Huntley High School sophomore Nathaniel Zawarus installs a color competitor’s tag on Huntley Team 5’s robot before taking it to an advanced round during the recent McHenry County College 2019 Robotics Scrimmage High School event. Team 5 tied for first place with Huntley Team 8.

Huntley High School senior Shefali Sharma aspires to be an engineer and participating in the McHenry County College’s fourth annual high school Robotics Scrimmage allowed her to apply her engineering and design skills learned in class.

Sharma competed with Huntley High School’s four-member Team 8 who captured first place in the MCC’s 2019 Robotics Scrimmage High School event, sharing the championship with four other classmates from Huntley High School Team 5.

“The Robotics Scrimmage teaches me patience and how to work as a team,” Sharma said. “Plus, I picked up some engineering skills that I will need in the future.”

The event included 120 high school students from six McHenry County high schools, including Crystal Lake Central, Huntley, Prairie Ridge, McHenry West, McHenry East and Woodstock North. The students were judged on a challenge activity to earn points by controlling their team-built robots to move flags, flip disks and occupy the center of a platform.

Huntley Team 8 member Clarissa Mason, a senior, said “the big thing is communication,” after she shouted encouraging words to team member Josh Quezada, a senior, as he worked the hand-held controller to move the robot through each round.

Nathaniel Zawarus, a sophomore, of Huntley High School Team 5 said this is his second year in the competition.

“I like to see the different designs of robots that people come up with,” Zawarus said. “It’s also fun to experiment with different maneuvers and structural changes to see what works best.”

“This competition gives students the opportunity to use their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to make a robot do a specific task,” said Gina McConoughey, dean of Career and Technical Education at MCC. “Students work as a team to apply automation strategies and to complete the robot challenge.”

The following schools took home medals from the Robotic Scrimmage: Huntley High School, Teams 5 and 8, Champions; Huntley High School Team 3 and McHenry East High School Team 2, Finalists; Huntley High School Teams 1, 2, 4 and 6, Semifinalists; Woodstock North High School Team 1, Prairie Ridge High School, Teams 2 and 3, Huntley High School Team 7, and McHenry High School West, Team 3, Woodstock North High School Team 4, Quarterfinalists.

For more information about MCC’s Robotics program, visit www.mchenry.edu/robotics.

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