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posted: 8/18/2014 5:44 PM

Registration open for robotics challenge

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  • Fox Valley Robotics and Batavia Robotics will hold an informational meetings Aug. 22-24.

      Fox Valley Robotics and Batavia Robotics will hold an informational meetings Aug. 22-24.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2014

Submitted by Fox Valley Robotics and Batavia Robotics

Fox Valley Robotics and Batavia Robotics will be opening registration for their 13th season this year with new robotics challenges for kids in first through 12th grades.

The third year for the highly successful LegoWolves Division for first- through third-graders will take on learning in the new challenge "Think Tank." These young kids will work with Lego pieces to construct a robotics model which relates to their current challenge which is to investigate where and how learning takes place every day and the effect it has on kids and people. The kids will culminate their season in February in an event which celebrates their hard work and fun they had displaying their robotic models and poster boards.

The fourth- through eighth-grade LegoDogs Division will be working on FIRST's World Class -- Learning Unleashed. Teams will redesign how we gather knowledge and skills in the 21st century and will teach adults about the ways that kids need and want to learn. In the World Class Challenge, teams will build, test, and program an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms EV3/NXT to solve a set of missions as well as research, develop, and share their innovative nature solutions.

In the eighth- through 12th-grade Coyotes Division, there are two different competitions in which the kids can participate. The VEX Skyrise Game is played on a 12- by 12-foot square field. Two alliances -- one "red" and one "blue" -- composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a 15-second autonomous period followed by 105 seconds of driver-controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent alliance by scoring cubes on posts, in essence, building a skyrise. The other challenge for the Coyotes Division will be presented from FIRST and is released in early September.

The goals of these programs are to have the kids "think beyond the box" and to have fun. The programs allow the kids to go beyond simple box instructions and to formulate the why and how on their own with guidance from instructors and mentors. Creativity and ingenuity has no limits when it comes to robotics and what these kids can learn and accomplish.

Information meetings for those wanting more details or interested in joining are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22; 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 at Rotolo Middle School, 1501 S. Raddant, Batavia. Enter at doors N11. The organization hosts competition events in December, January, February, and March with 30-60 teams attending in different robotic challenges.

Batavia Robotics has been around since 2002, and adopted the name Fox Valley Robotics in 2007. As a nonprofit, multi-community based organization, they are recognized by many schools and school districts in the area and provide kids throughout the year the ability to explore the world of robotics with a variety of programs. Registration is now open. For details,, visit