Local robotics team heads to world championship after state win

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OSWEGO, IL — After recently being crowned Illinois State champions, a local robotics team is heading to Houston for a global competition in April.

Turbo Charged 14615, a local robotics team, was chosen by the judge after a 2v2 competition at the FIRST Tech Challenge State Competition held at Elgin Community College on March 12. At FTC competitions, students in grades 7-12 go head-to-head in robotics competitions.

Other awards won by the team during the state competition include:

  • Inspire Award for Overall Excellence and Model in Innovation, Design, Programming, Community Outreach, and Engineering Design Process
  • Promote Award for Outstanding Team Promo Video
  • Member Preeta Swaminathan won Dean’s list of finalists

The wins propelled the team to the FIRST 2022 World Championship and placed it in the top 1% of all FTC teams worldwide, according to a group press release.

Turbo Charged is a community-based FIRST FTC team that includes five students from four schools in Oswego School District 308 and Naperville School District 204. The participating students are Ryan Oberfranc, from Oswego High School; Jensen Coonradt of Oswego East High School; Preeta Swaminathan and Pranav Swaminathan, from Metea Valley High School; and Allen Xu from Scullen College.

Students meet three days a week for a total of more than 10 hours to design bugs, revise their design and fine-tune a reliable robot that can withstand the wear and tear of competitions, according to the organization.

From there, the teams compete in a qualifying event to eventually advance to the state level. After qualifying, the teams compete in the state competition for one of three spots to advance from Illinois to the world competition.


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