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Macomb Robotics Team Named Reserve Champion in Weekend Competition

May 13, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – The 4-H Macomb Bots robotics team won the reserve champion award at the 4-H Illinois Robotics Competition Saturday in Bloomington, IL.

The honor means the Macomb team placed second overall among teams at level one.

The team is coached by Western Illinois University Interim Physics Department Chair Kishor Kapale and Computer Science Professor George Mangalaraj, and mentored and supported by Physical Sciences Technical Associate Aparna Kapale and Chemistry Instructor Shu-Hui (Kay) Tsai. The students are also mentored by WIU students John Miller, a sophomore physics major from Champaign, IL, and Reilly Bacorn, a freshman physics major from East Moline, IL.

The team is made up of seven 10- to 13-year-old from Macomb schools. Team members include Corda Adkins-Covert, Celena Mangalaraj, Varek Venugopalan, Atharva Kapale, Daksh Patel, Logan Natter and Owen Egler.

"They are all a very smart bunch and are passionate about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)," said Kapale. "They enjoy building and programming the robots and are all interested in STEM careers."

Every year, the competition is setup around a different theme. This year's theme was STEM and teams were tasked with designing a "STEMBot" to complete STEM-related tasks on a mat and supporting structures designed by the team members. There were 48 teams and about 350 team members from all over the state participating in the competition.

The 4-H Macomb Bitty Bots, which captured a second place poster award at the World Expo in April, was also recognized during Saturday's event.


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