The Illinois 4-H Robotics Showcase will be 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. April 23 at the Activities and Recreation Center, 201 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign.
This statewide event involves 68 teams of 4-H members totaling 450 youths ranging in age from from 8 to 18 years. The teams represent locations throughout the state. A team of 50 volunteers, many of them U. of I. students, will serve as judges for the event. Several U. of I. departments will demonstrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related majors and new technologies available to U. of I. students.
The event is an opportunity for youths enrolled in 4-H robotics to demonstrate what they have learned, celebrate their accomplishments and interact with others who share an interest in robotics. This year’s challenge, Dog Bot, will feature robots designed to simulate a dog agility and obedience show. Teams have three minutes to compete in the table competition, with three separate three-minute table runs. In addition, teams explain their robot designs to a panel of judges and are evaluated on how well they work together in a problem-solving challenge.
Thad Hughes, the National 4-H Youth in Action STEM Award Winner, will be recognized at a ceremony at 9:40 a.m. prior to the contest. Hughes also will serve as a table judge throughout the day.
At 10 a.m., the Illinois 4-H Honey Bee Challenge will be launched. Funded through the national grant project 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, the challenge teaches youths the importance of pollinators for our food supply. The Illinois State Honey Bee Challenge Team includes Tammie Obermark, Illinois 4-H Volunteer, Massac County; and youth Bryce Crim, Lanie Obermark and Keeton Reynolds. The team will demonstrate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The showcase and exhibits are free and open to the public.