Local Robotics Team Headed To World Championship After State Win

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OSWEGO, IL — After recently being crowned Illinois State Champions, a local robotics team is headed to Houston for a world competition in April.

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

Other awards the team won at the state competition include:

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  • Inspire Award for overall excellence and role model of innovation, design, programming, community outreach and engineering-design process
  • Promote Award for outstanding team promotional video
  • Member Preeta Swaminathan won as dean’s list finalist

The wins propelled the team to the 2022 FIRST World Championship and placed them in the top 1 percent of all FTC teams worldwide, according to a news release from the group.

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

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

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

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