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Cookies and Robots: A 4-H fundraiser

Members of the Robotics Club practices putting together their creations on Dec. 29.

Members of the Robotics Club practices putting together their creations on Dec. 29.

— Robots and cookies, not the spyware but the sweets, will combine forces to raise money for the ENIAC Masterbots Robotics Team at the Winter Farmers Market on Feb. 9.

Members of the ENIAC Masterbots Robotics Team, a sub-set of a Clinton County 4H group made up of area home schooled youth, hope to raise money to attend the World Festival in April.

“The kids will be holding the bake sale and doing robot demonstrations at the farmers market,” Melissa Sayward, 4H mom said.

The seven-member robotics club hopes the bake sale will start off their goal of $12,000 for all members to attend the first World Festival in Saint Louis Missouri from April 24 through the 27.

Sayward said participation in the festival is only open to 85 teams from around the world each year. The invitations to the festival are given by lottery with the many competitions held throughout the world selected at random to send a team, Sayward said.

ENIAC was named the winner of the Clarkson Tournament and received the invitation. Sayward said this was the first year in several years that Clarkson was awarded an invitation to give to their first place team, and the ENIAC Masterbots Robotics Team won the Clarkson Tournament in December and was given the invitation to attend the World Festival.

While at the festival, the team will compete in several rounds of the robotics competition over several days. This year’s competition has students programming a robot to complete tasks that are related to issues senior citizens face. There are 13 tasks on the competition mat.

Along with the task competition, the team will be interviewed about their robot design and will be judged on their mechanical design, their programming ability and their strategy for solving the tasks. They will also be interviewed about how they worked as a team and learned and practiced “Cooperation” and “Gracious Professionalism.” Both are FIRST terms referring to good sportsmanship intertwined with hard work, competition, and kindness.

Sayward said the young 4-H kids have already patented a prototype design they made for a robot used to improve the lives of senior citizens.

The team is planning to bring a prototype of the device to Saint Louis and give a formal presentation on their device to the judges.

For more information about the troop or to help support their trip contact the 4H office at 561-7450.

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