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updated: 3/3/2011 10:52 PM

Rolling Meadows' WildStang needs new shop

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The storied WildStang robotics team based at Rolling Meadows High School is looking for a new machine shop to make next year's competitor.

WildStang members are seeking use of a shop for next January and February, said Mark Koch, who serves as lead teacher for the team that participates in international FIRST Robotics competitions.

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Either employees of the firm or adults who already volunteer with the team would make parts in the shop, and students would assemble the robot. The work occurs in the evening after usual business hours.

The team has worked with Motorola for 16 years, and for the last three years has used a shop in Arlington Heights that is no longer available. The company will still provide a practice field for WildStang, and the Motorola Foundation will continue its financial support, Koch said.

The WildStang's 68 members make it the largest robotics team in Illinois. Its awards include the 2003 and 2009 world championships, as well as being chosen the best overall team in 2006. The team competes against more than 60,000 students from 2,000 high schools worldwide.

Koch said he plans to check out a lead on needed equipment he developed after recently attending an event sponsored by the Rolling Meadows Chamber of Commerce.

Koch is division head of Career and Technical Education at Rolling Meadows High School. While two-thirds of the team members attend Rolling Meadows, others attend Wheeling and Prospect high schools, and any student in Northwest Suburban High School District 214 is eligible. Koch can be contacted at Mark.Koch@d214.org.

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