This past weekend, three teams from Brooks and Julian traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to compete in the VEX Robotics National Championship. There were 40 middle school robotic teams (the best in the country) coming from places as far away as Maine and Hawaii to compete.

Team members Diego Firpo, Mardi Hillengas, Daniel Jenks, Mimi Labruyere, Simon Lee, Ethan Mertz, Jonah Meshenberg, Matthew Mitrovich, Abe Sell, Matthew Testore, Matthew Wallace, and Chris Webb rocked the house with their performance.

During the qualifying rounds on Friday and Saturday, Julian’s Yellow Team had a perfect qualifying round with a 7 – 0 match record, and entered the finals as the top seed. The Brooks “Loose Bolts” Team finished 2nd place overall in the championship rounds! All three teams made the select group that competed in the finals.

The teams were accompanied by coaches Tim Walsh, Don Robinson, Mark Pickus and Jessica Moncatch, along with volunteer mentors Ed Sell, Sergio Firpo, and Bob Parks.

Both teachers and mentors expressed their pride and admiration in this amazing performance at a national level. All agreed these students, who had worked on perfecting their designs since October, displayed the engineering skill, teamwork, dedication and ability to recover from failure that led to this great success.
Congratulations to all three Oak Park teams! Thanks to the many, many contributors from the community who helped send the teams to Omaha. And thanks to the all the mentors, parents (and grandparents) for all of their support.

Make sure to check out this blog from the event and this video by the Wednesday Journal of our teams preparing for the National Championship. You can also see a short slideshow of photos here.