Local Knox County 4-H Robotics Team Advances to World Competition


The Knox County 4-H Binary Bullets 4-H Team secured their invitation to the FIRST World Competition being held in Houston, Texas April 19-22 after taking home the “Winning Alliance” award at the state contest in Elgin, Illinois. Team members come from across Knox County and range in ages from 14-17.

As competitors in the FIRST Tech Challenge, the 4-H Binary Bullets work together to design, build, and code robots that can complete the task designated at the beginning of the year. This is all done while incorporating skills crucial to both 4-H and FIRST like teamwork, effective communication, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and more. The robot is designed and built entirely by the youth participants who are led by passionate volunteer coaches Cory and Hannah Heimer and Mike and Kendra Betz.

4-H believes in connecting young people with caring adults who can help them discover their spark. The Knox County 4-H Binary Bullets is an excellent example of this being done successfully. “These young people are dedicating 2 to 3 nights a week to robotics,” says Julian Inniss, 4-H Special Interest (SPIN) Coordinator, “this is on top of their regular schoolwork and extracurricular activities. And our coaches are giving just as much time if not more. Our members are learning that hard work truly does pay off. They are discovering future careers.”

The 4-H Binary Bullets receive support from across the community through the local University of Illinois Extension office, Caterpillar, Knoxville High School, and Knox County 4-H and Extension Foundation. “We couldn’t provide these opportunities without the help of the community and the wonderful volunteers who donate their time and expertise to help develop our next generation.” says Shelby Carlson, 4-H Youth Development Educator.

To learn more about getting your child involved in 4-H or 4-H robotics go to https://4h.extension.illinois.edu/join-4-h or contact your local Extension Office.

***Courtesy of the University of Illinois Extension***

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