CHICAGO (CBS) — They have their motors running for global competition.
30,000 high school students from Turkey, China and Chicago’s Lane Tech.
They’re competing in the World Robotics Championship in Detroit being held later in April.
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole visited with the local masterminds headed to the big event.
In a high school lab, they’re gearing up for world competition.
They’re the problem solving engineers of X-Machina, Lane Tech’s robotics team.
“You can learn something really simple, like how a motor moves, and you can apply it to a hundred different things,” says Lane Tech senior Megan Altman.
The robot they designed to motor through obstacles and toss objects, landed them on top of the state competition.
“It was unbelievable,” says Altman. “We have six weeks to design and build our robot. We build things, we test them, we take them apart.”
“People definitely didn’t know it was a competitive sport,” says Lane Tech physics teacher and coach Ben Durham. “Everything they do is entirely theirs. They design it, they program it, they build it.”
“I was actually intimidated at first because I didn’t know anything about robotics,” says Alexa Lagunas, a Lane Tech junior who was recruited freshman year. “It really opened my eyes to see how technology is all around us.”
Women continue to be underrepresented in the sciences.
X-Machina is working to change that.
“I think it’s a little silly that in 2018 we’re still asking these questions like ‘can women really use a computer?'” says Altman. “Really?”
X-Machina is the only representative from Chicago Public Schools going to the event.
1,400 teams from 62 countries will be there.