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Parker Junior High’s Tech Ninjas robotics team.
(Provided photo)

Parker Junior High Tech Ninjas won the Judges Control Award recently at the Chicago Math and Science Academy FIRST Tech Challenge qualifier.

It was the team’s second time competing in FTC, an international program that brings science, problem solving and programming to the middle school and high school students. Over 5,000 teams participate worldwide, building robots to complete challenges.

Despite problems faced on the field at the Jan. 23 competition, judges said the Tech Ninjas “knew how to move around the field in autonomous and teleop (driving). They knew what side is best to move forward silently (and came) in with an explosive strike.”

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The Control Award was given to the team that used innovative thinking to get the best use of the given sensors and programing to tackle challenges such as autonomous mode and making driving easier.

Every team member had a part in controlling the robot during the competition. Hannah Beezie, Kate Nelson, and Calvin Uecker drove the robot. Lauren Matthews, Jeremy Wesley and Ashley White took turns coaching alongside the drivers.

At the Dec. 19 Highland Park FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Qualifier, Parker students placed eleventh out of 27 teams, most of them made up of Chicago-area high school students

The Tech Ninja team is planning to soon host an event in which the public is invited to learn more about the team and the First Tech Challenge. Watch for the details of this event in the HF Chronicle!

Lauren Matthews is a student at Parker Junior High School in Flossmoor.

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