UPDATE from State Tournament on January 18, when three OLW Robotics Teams competed at the State level FLL tournament at Elgin Community College.

– The Mechanicats (7th and 8th grade girls) did a 3-peat at state by winning the Core Values award for the 3rd year in a row! What make this truly amazing is when you realize they had to beat over 50 really good state level teams not only once, but three years in a row. Emily Lang and Sophia Stuber were members of all 3 of those winning teams. Leah Collins, Avery Brooks, Ainslie McKenna and Lucy Jochaniewicz are first time winners with the team as they were on the Coding Cats rookie team last year.
– The Coding Cats (6th grade girls rookie team) were amazing. They were one of the 6 finalist teams (out of a total of 53 teams) for the Rising Star award. This is the same award they won at the regional tournament. They also came in 6th place overall in the robot challenge with their robot missions scoring 375 points. They are the first OLW team to ever come in the top 10 in the robot challenge at a state tournament! And they are rookies! Members of this team were Erin Lynch, Megan Newell, Katie Strzyzynski, Clare Bauer, Annie Utech, Grace Trunnell, Maggie Berwick, and Lola Scarsi.
– The Wild Gears (7th and 8th grade boys) took 2nd place in the Alliance Round where they were paired with another team. They had to cooperate with each other and compete against two other teams who were also pairing together. They scored 365 points just 5 points shy of the first place team’s 370 points. Members of this team were Aiden Lewis, Charlie Hoeper, Michael Bauer, Sean Fitzpatrick, Bill Allen, Marco Hervas, and Jack Buehrer.
Last year was the first year all of our graduating 8th graders had made it to a state tournament during their time in OLW robotics. This year we sent a record number of kids to the state tournament, 21 kids. So this year, not only have all of our 8th graders been to a state tournament, but so have all of our 7th graders. So all in all, a very good year for OLW robotics!

There were four teams that competed at the regional tournament in mid-December. At that regional competition, all four of the OLW Robotics teams won an award. This is an incredible accomplishment considering there were 32 teams that competed at the Regional Competition. There will be 21 OLW students that will go to the state meet and we are incredibly proud.
We just have to brag about these notable facts:
– All four OLW teams won an award.
– Our 6th grade girls rookie team tied for 2n place in the Robot Table Challenge with 300 points! This is the best any of our teams have ever placed in the actual robot challenge at a regional or state competition since – OLW Robotics started in 2014. The fact that they are a rookie team in a regional tournament double the normal size makes this accomplishment that much more incredible!
– This is the second year in a row that our 8th graders who are graduating out of the program have qualified for a state tournament during their time in OLW Robotics. We plan to continue this pattern.
– This is the first year that the number of girls in Wayside Robotics outnumbers the boys (14 girls, 11 boys).
– Coding Cats (6th grade girls rookie team) – Won 1st place for the Rising Star Award (top rookie team) and qualified for the State Competition. Team members: Clare Bauer, Maggie Berwick, Erin Lynch, Megan Newell, Lola Scarsi, Katie Strzyzynski, Grace Trunnell, and Annie Utech.
– Robocats (6th grade boys rookie team) – Won 1st place for the Robot Design Award. Team members: Jake Bondy, Luke Broemmelsiek, Nicolas Nicolandis, and Ben Stuber.
– Mechanicats (7th/8th grade girls) – Won 2nd place for the Core Values Award and qualified for the State Competition. Part of this competed last year at the State level and won the Overall Core Values Award. Team members: Avery Brooks, Leah Collins, Lucy Jochaniewicz, Emily Lang, Ainslie McKenna, and Sophia Stuber.
– Wild Gears (7th/8th grade boys) – Won 2nd place for the Robot Design Award and qualified for the State Competition. Team members: Bill Allen, Michael Bauer, Jack Buehrer, Sean Fitzpatrick, Marco Hervas, Charlie Hoeper, and Aiden Lewis.

The students work extremely hard starting in September, meeting twice a week, doing independent research, taking relevant field trips, and working on the coding, of course. Once they get to the regional or state competition, they are judged on several merits: Table Performance Robot Game, building and programming an EV3 robot to complete missions; Core Values, evaluating how a team works together; and Robot Design, providing an explanation of robot design, programs, and mission choices; and Innovation Project, identifying a solving a real world problem as presented by FFL each year. This year’s FFL challenge was City Shaper. Teams needed to identify an issue that created a stronger and more sustainable future.