photo by David Kindler

Five OPEF Robotics teams from Brooks and five from Julian had an exciting day February 2 at the Great Lakes – Midwest – Illinois VEX Regional Championship in Batavia. Parents, siblings, and coaches cheered from the stands. After 84 qualification matches among 56 teams – the great majority high schoolers – four Oak Park teams made it to the elimination rounds: the Avengers and the Terminators from Brooks, and the Orange and Black teams from Julian.

OPEF’s four teams were the only middle schoolers in the elimination bracket. All but the Terminators were eliminated in the quarter finals. The Terminators finally met defeat in the finals in a heart-breaker – their alliance partner was disqualified when their bot landed on their opponent’s starting square after their autonomous program went awry. Forced to go it alone for the rest of the match, the Terminators still managed to score 41 points in a valiant effort.