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Martin Engineering's Robotics Team Advances to Championship

Company sponsors teens' participation in STEM competition

Photo by Martin Engineering
Photo by Martin Engineering

Martin Motion, a robotics team made up of students from nine local high schools, recently competed at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Central Illinois Regional in Peoria, IL, as well as the Idaho FRC Regional in Nampa, ID. Winning the Engineering Inspiration Award in Idaho, Martin Motion earned a spot at the World Championship in Detroit, Michigan.

Forty teams, some from as far as Turkey, competed at the Central Illinois Regional, where Martin Motion finished with a rank of 11 and a record of 6-7-0, serving as captain of Alliance #8.Eliminated from the playoffs in the quarterfinals round, Martin Motion (Team #6237) cheered on fellow robotics teams and was excited to win the Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen.This award celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance.

In Idaho, 27 teams attended, including a team from Mexico.Finishing with a ranking of 9 and a record of 7-5-0 while serving as captain of Alliance #6, Martin Motion’s robot suffered a competition-ending electrical failure just minutes prior to the start of their playoff match, forcing the team to withdraw from the competition and select a substitute to compete in its place.Team #6237 ended up being eliminated from the playoffs, but due to winning the prestigious Engineering Inspiration Award, Martin Motion advanced to the World Championship.The Engineering Inspiration award recognizes outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school or organization and community. Adding to the excitement of making it to the World Championship, Martin Motion’s trip was sponsored by NASA, which paid for the team’s registration fee.

This was Martin Motion’s second consecutive trip to the FIRST Championship event in its four years of existence, joining more than 400 of the top robotics teams at the World Championship. A kickoff celebration was held on Ford Field, where students and mentors interacted with members of other championship-caliber teams from near and far. Students were also able to attend daily conference sessions geared toward further developing the robotics program offered to area schools and communities. The Detroit Cobo Center hosted over 17,000 students and 25,000 spectators for the pinnacle of the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition season. The competition was a great experience for all students and a memorable finale for the nine graduating seniors. Team #6237 was able to overcome a programming error to showcase the robot’s world-class climbing ability, finishing the event ranked as a top-50 team in its division.

Students from Alwood, Annawan, Bureau Valley, Cambridge, Galva, Geneseo, Kewanee, Stark County, and Wethersfield made up Martin Motion Team #6237. Martin Engineering is a proud sponsor of Martin Motion and enjoys providing opportunities for students to learn more about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Founded in 1944, Martin Engineering is a family-owned business located in Neponset, Illinois that has patented hundreds of products to make the handling of bulk materials cleaner, safer, and more productive.

By helping to inspire students and ignite these academic principles, Martin hopes to see an increase in youth pursuing careers in STEM-related fields.

With the help of Silver and Bronze sponsors (Nanninga Trucking, State Bank of Toulon, Nelson Auto Sales, Aluminum Castings Company, Strategic Retirement Partners, Alfa Plastics, Martin & Sullivan Inc., Rumbold & Kuhn Inc., Margaret Devenney, Chicago Tube & Iron, Boss Holdings Inc., and Quality Cable & Components Inc.) and other local businesses and supporters, Martin Motion is able to operate as a cost-free program to all students, allowing students to have the same level of opportunity and engagement, regardless of their financial situation. Kewanee Physical Therapy & Rehab and Kewanee Flemish American Club sponsored and donated to the trivia night fundraiser, LaGondola Spaghetti House generously hosted a spaghetti supper fundraiser, and Club Colors donated the team attire.

In addition to focusing on STEM, the robotics program encourages socialization among students from several area schools, as well as robotics teams all across the world. FIRST Robotics provides an outlet and opportunities to socialize with people having similar interests that they wouldn’t normally cross paths with.

If interested in learning more or supporting this worthwhile cause, please email: [email protected].

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