The 7th annual Rock River Robotics Off-Season Competition (R2OC) took place this past Saturday at Rock Valley College’s PE Center in Rockford, IL. R2OC was modeled after FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), and is certified to support high school STEM education coalition programs while shining a spotlight on the talented youth in the area. FIRST Robotics Competition, nicknamed a varsity sport for the mind, combines the excitement of sport with the thoroughness that is required with science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, and develop teamwork skills to build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. This experience gives the students a glimpse at real world engineering.
The event is a community effort the involves more than 100 volunteers leading up to and during the event. R2OC is a collaborative creation of five local high school robotics teams:
Since its inaugural year in 2013, R2OC has grown from 23 teams to a maximum capacity of 36 teams the last two years. Rj Link was one of many local companies that sponsored the successful event which brought in teams from 4 states. The large number of people that were in attendance helped to cheer on the 4 local teams that were finalists, Stateline Robotics, Rockford Robotics, Winnovation and MetalHeads. All four teams competed in the finals as an Alliance!