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Shirland robotics places 2nd at Sphero World Championship

Olivia Carlson, Brayden Beck, Cora Whiteman and Aubrey Carlson are the four members of the school’s winning Robotics Club.
Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 10:36 PM CDT
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SHIRLAND, Ill. (WIFR) - What started as a STEM learning activity has now branched out into a global success story.

The Shirland Middle School Robotics Club placed second at last week’s Sphero World Championship.

“When you build a robot and spend a lot of time on it, and then it works - and it works properly - then you get second place, that’s pretty fun,” said club members Cora Whiteman and Aubrey Carlson.

Alongside teammates Olivia Carlson and Brayden Beck, the fearsome foursome wasn’t just producing championships, but they were building friendships that grew tighter with each passing success.

“Whether it’s ranging from simple jokes to incredible brilliant ideas to solving worldwide problems like light pollution,” said Head Coach Hannah Pals.

Pals created the club after attending a tech conference four years ago.

“They gave me an idea to have kids code and I’m like ‘I can do this,‘ so I went along with the idea,” said Pals.

The club’s winning entry was a desk sanitizer, which not only showed the group’s ability to construct creatively but also produce practically, especially during the pandemic.

“It’s definitely brought out more of a creative side where they are now constantly thinking through, then obviously outside the box too to solve problems,” said Pals.

The club is expected to get an increase in participation as several other students have expressed interest in joining next year. They have already qualified for the 2022 World Championship due to their success at this year’s event.

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