The Oak Park Education Foundation hosted “Sponge
Ball Bonanza,” an exciting competition showcasing the talents of Julian
and Brooks middle school students. The 6th, 7th and 8th graders, both
boys and girls, were guided by volunteer engineers, high school mentors
and teachers. Working in teams, they designed, built and programmed
robots that scored points by moving sponge balls into targets of
varying degrees of difficulty.
The Brooks gym was filled to capacity with friends and family
cheering on the 80 student designers. Junior varsity teams built robots
that operated by remote control, while varsity students programmed
their bots to operate autonomously, using sensors. Julian emerged
victorious, but all agreed that they had gained valuable experience not
only in making robots, but also in connecting with adult engineers and
learning how they work, and solving problems while working in teams.
Click here to see a slideshow of photos courtesy of Alec Bloyd-Peshkin.