North Chicago’s “Electric Kids” Robotics Team Electrifies Crowd

    Zion, IL-On December 10th, the “Electric Kids” Robotics team, 8 students from North Chicago’s Neal Math & Science Academy, competed in the INScITE Illinois FIRST® LEGO® League Illinois Regional Tournament for the very first time, and they came away as champions.

    Competing against 18 other teams from the surrounding area, the “Electric Kids” tackled the 2011 Food Factor Challenge.  Teams battled by building, programming and testing an autonomous robot using LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT to solve a set of Food Safety missions that explore and prevent food contamination.  In addition, teams had to research, develop, and share their innovative food safety solutions.  After being judged in all of those categories, the “Electric Kids” came away with the highest scores, a bid to the State Competition, and the coveted Champion’s Award, which recognizes the team that embodies the First Lego League experience by fully embracing the Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the Robot Game and Project.

    Alex Pankhurst, a student at Lake Forest Academy, initiated this North Chicago robotics program, which was incorporated into the 21st Century Community Learning Center that is operated at Neal Math & Science Academy by the Boys & Girls Club of Lake County and North Chicago Community Partners.  Since mid-September, Alex and his Lake Forest Academy classmates, Nyalia Lui, Julian Bailes, and Jennifer Ma have come weekly to the after school program to teach robotics and prepare the “Electric Kids” for this regional competition.

    The rookie team surprised and energized the crowd throughout the competition and will look to repeat their success as they travel with four other teams to Arlington Heights, Illinois on January 20-21, 2012 for the State Competition.

    “Electric Kids” Team: Coach-Alex Pankhurst, Nyalia Lui, Julian Bailes, and Jennifer Ma.

    Members-Alexander Cajuste, Quintin Cajuste, Xavier Halsey, Tommy Houston, Telan Lucas, David Moragne, Diamond Patrick and Adrianne Pratt.

    For more information:
    INScITE Illinois FIRST® LEGO® League Illinois Regional Tournament-
    North Chicago Community Unit School District 187-
    North Chicago Community
    Boys & Girls Club of Lake County-

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