COVID-19 UPDATE: Please check here for more info - FIRST Inspires: COVID-19 Update

Illinois FRC News

Rockford welcomes 32 robotics teams for a day of competition
 R2OC Logo

 July 25, 2015 - by Corina Curry

'ROCKFORD — Mia Bowitz, a soon-to-be senior at East High School, has been competing in FIRST Robotics events for four years. She calls it her "sport."

"I like getting my hands dirty, and I like working with electronics. I just think it's really cool," Bowitz said Saturday at the Rock River Off-Season Competition at Rock Valley College. "I run cross country, but this is my main thing. This is my sport. My sport for my mind."

The competition, known as the R2OC, is attracting more competitors and spectators each year.' Read More ... 

Top 10 Differences Between High School Sports and Robotics
 CIR logo

March 23, 2015 - blog by Paul Smith

"As a father of two active boys, I’ve spent countless hours at my sons’ sporting events of one kind or another, both as a spectator and a coach. But this weekend I attended my first high school robotics competition — a FIRST Robotics regional competition in Central Illinois. I was surprised at the similarities between sports and robotics. But I was amazed at the differences. And it left my experience with sports wanting in some very important ways. Athletes, parents, and coaches, take note. THIS is how to prepare kids for life." Read More ...


Segway inventor visits FIRST Robotics competition at Bradley
CIR logo

March 20, 2015 - Peoria Public Radio by Alex Rusciano

"The Inventor of the Segway is speaking to students in a robotics competition at Bradley University today.  Dean Kamen founded the FIRST Robotics competition.  Hundreds of students from the Midwest and internationally are competing in the event at the Renaissance Coliseum." Read More ... 

Robotics competition, a sport of the mind
CIR logo

March 20, 2015 - by Audrey Wise

"PEORIA, Ill. -- Robots have taken over the Bradley University campus!

The 'FIRST' Robotics regional competition is Friday and Saturday at Bradley's Renaissance Coliseum." Read More ...

Our View: Cool Robots, Smart Kids Coming to Rock Valley College

July 27, 2013 - - Editorial

"Imagine a day when smart kids are cheered as much as star athletes…You can see for yourself Saturday at Rock Valley College when 22 teams and more than 400 high school students from across the Midwest compete in the Rock River Off-Season Regional competition…"
"You'll see future innovators and engineers who designed, engineered and built robots…"
"You'll see those smart kids make adjustments to their robots during the competition to make them perform the skill better than the other teams'…"
"It's the real-life world of engineering, seeing what works and what doesn't and applying what they learned in the classroom."  Read More…

Robotics:  A Key To Our Future Engineers and Manufacturers



July 24, 2013 - by Bob Trojan

"The first FIRST Sectional robotics competition will soon be here.  Twenty-two robotics teams from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri will compete at Rock Valley College on Saturday, August 3rd…"
"The five local teams are working together to pull this off.  Rock River Off-Season Competition (R2OC) is what they call the organization; Stateline Robotics, Flaming Monkeys, Winnovation, Rockford Robotics and MetalHeads from Freeport make up R2OC.  It is a free event and students, parents and the public are invited."
"Funding for this event has been secured thanks to Titanium sponsors Woodward and UTC Aerospace, Gold sponsor Rock Valley College, Silver sponsors Swedish American Health, Fabricators and Manufacturers Association and a number of Bronze sponsors."
"Imagine if every high school, middle and elementary supported a team!  What a source for the workforce!"  Read More…

Robots Take Over Peoria Riverfront Museum!




On Saturday, June 29, robots large and small rolled around, shot basketballs, and tossed flying discs as part of the Riverfront Museum's "Robo-Rumble" robotics competition.  This amazing day of robotic activities was led and coordinated by Caterpillar sponsored FIRST FRC team # 1736 Robot Casserole, a multi-school team based out of Richwoods High School in Peoria.   With the help of  FIRST FRC teams # 2081 Icarus (Nortre Dame High School - Peoria), # 4212 Techno Ferrets (Knox County 4-H - Galesburg), # 4213 MetalCow (Bloomington/Normal 4-H), # 2040 D.E.R.T. (Dunlap High School), # 2481 Roboteers (Tremont High School), and # 4143 MARS/WARS (Metamora Township High School), the event was successful and lots of fun as our FRC teams amazed the crowd with their student built robots.  The event was free and open to the public.

Read the News Articles - Watch the Videos!

Student-Made Robots Compete at Riverfront Musuem
Central Illinois Proud - WMBD / WYZZ-TV

Robots at the Riverfront
CI News Now

Robot Rumble at Riverfront Museum
Peoria Journal Star

Team # 1625 - Winnovation Hosts Successful Robotics Clinic




Seventy-two FRCers from 12 different FIRST teams traveled to Winnebago Middle School bright and early Saturday morning June 29th in order to participate in Winnovation"s Robotics Clinic.  Those attending represented teams # 1625 - Winnovation, # 2022 - Titan Robotics, # 2039 - Rockford Robotics, # 2338 - Gear it Forward, # 2451 - PWNAGE, # 2705 - , # 3061 - Huskies, # 3352 - Flaming Monkeys, # 3938, # 3936 - Michigan City Robotics, # 4096 - Ctr-Z, and # 4655 - Stateline Robotics.

Throughout the morning and afternoon, workshops were offered in areas such as computer programming, drafting, robot design, game strategy, fundraising, award applications and more!  Plus special presentations were given by special guests - Mark Balla (Waukegan) on LabView, Renee Becker (MN) on Chairman's Award and Fundraising, Danny Blau (MN) on Robot Design and Strategy, and Ron Faulkner (St. Charles) on Electronics.  In addition Winnovation student team members also gave presentations on various popular topics. 

The day ended with the "Team Challenge."  Everyone counted off and then split into groups of three.  The mission was to build a structure using paper and tape(optional) that would hold an egg at its highest point off the floor, and/or once released allow the egg to roll the furthest distance without breaking.

A fun time was had by all!

FRC Teams Featured at Chicagoland Engineers Washington Awards Banquet




Members of FRC team #2451 Pwnage pictured with special guest Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski, who is one of the twelve Congressmen and Senators that is an engineer.

Each year during Engineers Week one of the country's oldest and most prestigious engineering awards, the Washington Award, is conferred upon an engineer(s) whose professional attainments have preeminently advanced the welfare of human kind.  Since 1919, this award has been given to such notables as President Hoover, Orville Wright, astronauts, the inventor of the transistor, the cell phone and more.  FIRST's very own Dean Kamen won the award in 2008.

On February 21, 2013, the Washington Awards Banquet was held at the University Club of Chicago and along with the presentation of the award, special recognition was given to middle and high school students who participate in STEM programs and competitions throughout the year.  FIRSTwas there with representatives from each of the programs. 

FIRST FRC was officially represented by team #2451 Pwnage from St. Charles, who was the winner of the Engineering Inspiration Award at the 2012 Midwest Regional Competition.  Also in attendance were representatives from Lane Tech High School's FRC team #4645 X-Machina.


Teams in the Headlines!


Mt. Vernon Register-News

Robotics Club Competes in Regionals

“Membership in the Mt. Vernon Township High School Robotics Club is open to individuals from all walks of life. One adult mentor describes the school's current membership as artists, dreamers, mathematicians, geeks, nerds and jocks. . . I assist in the learning and education of building a robot. My job is to be like a technical expert to help them along with creation. They come up with the idea, I just help them make their ideas a realization," said mentor Rob Cooper.  Read More. . .


 Great Stories From the Archives!



Chicago Tonight 

Rumbling Robots – FIRST Robotic Competition in Chicago

In this episode of Scientific Chicago, correspondent Ash-har Quraishi spent time behind the scenes at the Midwest Regional talking with students, mentors, coaches and volunteers, as well as enjoying the competition and being.  See the Episode  -  Read the Story  -  View the Picture Gallery. . .


Daily Herald

 WildStang Robotics Team gets White House Honor
Team # 111 – Schaumburg, IL

"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."  Read More. . .

facebook twitter flickr image archive instagram
FIRST Illinois Robotics. All rights reserved. Copyright 2018 (EIN: #20-0707641)