iRobotics conducts training sessions for FLL competitions

With the First Lego Robotics competition starting the season, the iRobotics club conducted two training sessions for teams and mentors. MechSE students Arsalan Aslam, Athrey Nadhan, and Becca Nothof did a great job organizing and recruiting teams and mentors to come to the training put on by MechSE alum and current Caterpillar employee Matt Birkel.

Matt reported that he returned to conduct the training again this year because “I really got a lot out of the FIRST LEGO League program when I was in grade school, so I'm really happy to be able to give back. STEM programs like FLL can really have a huge impact on both the students and the community as a whole, and I'm thankful to the MechSE department for working with iRobotics to make opportunities like this possible!”

Multiple teams were present, with one team coming from as far as Chicago bringing 10 of their members and four coaches. Roberta Ingram from the Betty Shabazz Academy in south Chicago has organized two teams for the school. She said that she brought the students down to Champaign because “it is good to get the students out of school and out of town, to give them a larger view of life and to expose them to new possibilities.” This was a way to make engineering at the University of Illinois a possibility for her students.

Matt Birkel teaching attendees programming
Matt Birkel teaching attendees programming

Some Betty Shabazz Academy students working on their robot at the session.
Some Betty Shabazz Academy students working on their robot at the session.