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updated: 2/3/2012 7:27 PM

WildStang robotics team gets White House honor

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  • The WildStang team celebrates its world title last May in St. Louis.

      The WildStang team celebrates its world title last May in St. Louis.
    Courtesy of District 214


A senior from Rolling Meadows High School will be cutting class on Tuesday, but with good reason -- he'll be in Washington, D.C., meeting President Barack Obama.

Harrison Drake and his teacher Mark Koch will travel to the nation's capital on behalf of the WildStang Robotics Team. The team, composed of students from Rolling Meadows, Wheeling and Prospect high schools, will be recognized at the annual White House Science Fair.

"It's a little overwhelming," Koch said of the upcoming trip where he and Drake will join other award-winning science students and teachers from around the country. "We'd really love for the whole team to go, but this is such nice recognition.

"It's just a thrill of a lifetime, I'm really looking forward to it."

Drake and other members of the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 robotics team were part of a three-team alliance that won the world championship last spring.

In a release from the White House, Obama reiterated his enthusiasm for bring top academic achievers to D.C.

"If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House," Obama said. "Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too."

Drake is a four-year team member and leader of the mechanical team. He will attend Purdue University next year to major in engineering.

The WildStang Robotics Team has enjoyed numerous accomplishments over the last 17 years. The World Championship win in 2011 was the third time the group has won, also taking the top title in 2009 and 2003.

The WildStang team is made up of 62 students, three teachers and 15 engineering mentors. Motorola Solutions is the founding sponsor for the team. Additional sponsors include Numerical Precision Inc. of Wheeling, Innovation First International, Northrop Grumman and JC Penney.

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