WINNERS: Most Creative Award to Manhattan-Elwood Robotics
Middle School Students Bring Creativity and Hard Work to Life through 4-H Robotics
Over 200 youth making up thirty-eight teams of middle-school students from Will County displayed their technical, creative and teamwork skills during the 4-H Robotics Sport Bot Showcase in Joliet on Saturday, April 25.
Throughout the morning, 4-H members showcased their Lego Mindstorm robots in creativity, table performance, and technical categories. They also completed a teamwork challenge without their Bots. The event was hosted by University of Illinois Extension at the Weitendorf Agriculture Education Center in Joliet. All the youth are 4-H members, thanks in part to the Illinois 4-H Foundation. This National 4-H Council grant-funded program impacts more than 100 youth Will County this year.
“The youth worked extremely hard this year build and program their bots, and to see their hard work in action is terrific,” said Megan Walsh, U of I Extension 4-H youth development educator. “They all did something today they could not have accomplished when this year started, and that is success!”
That is a key tenant of 4-H; learning by doing. “The youth in these clubs learned about engineering and technology, because they were able to build and program these robots themselves,” says Walsh. “The kids say one of their favorite things about their club is that they get to make decisions on how the robot is built and how it is programmed.”
According to a Tufts University study, 4-H members are nearly two times more likely to pursue a career in science, engineering, or computer technology, and they are five times more likely to graduate from college. These positive youth development programs provide opportunities for youth to feel a sense of belonging, develop independence, practice generosity, and experience mastery.
“Teams got to learn from one another during the event and they had a lot of fun,” says Walsh. “Leaders are already telling me that their teams are already planning for next year’s competition.” If you would like to learn more about 4-H robotics and how you can get involved contact Megan Walsh at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 815-727-9296.