Due to the annual fundraisers we hold—the fundraiser dinner and silent auction (Winter/Spring) and golf outing (Summer/Fall)—WOTM is able to invest in the Greater Rockford Area’s manufacturing community.
Thanks to the funds raised in 2017, WOTM was able to invest over $8,000 dollars back into the community in 2018 through sponsorship of the Rock River Robotics Off-Season Competition (R2OC) and five local FIRST Robotics Teams (below).
FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC)
The FRC program helps young people discover the excitement and rewards of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life-skills which are the cornerstones of FIRST.
In the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) program, every January brings a new season’s game challenge to be solved. Students brainstorm to devise and design innovative, effective solutions with the help of volunteer mentors from a related profession who, in the process, often find that they rediscover the joys of their chosen career pathway.
R2OC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit partnership of Rock River Valley US FIRST Robotics Teams. Their goal is to provide an annual off-season event where FIRST robotics teams can participate in a competition, show off their robots to the community, and meet others who share the same passion in robotics.
The 7th annual Rock River Robotics Off-Season Competition (R2OC) will be held on July 27, 2019 from 8:30am to 5:00pm at the Rock Valley College PE Center in Rockford, Illinois.
Rock River Robotics Off-Season Competition—www.r2oc.org
FIRST Robotics Teams
The Flaming Monkeys was formed in 2010 at the Belvidere Township building’s “BotCave” as a 4-H spin-off club. Over the past six years the team has grown exponentially, being represented by over 30 active members. With growth came certain success, reaching a semi-finals appearance at Carson Subdivision (Detroit, Michigan) in 2016.
The Flaming Monkeys consistently spread the word of FIRST Robotics to over 250,000 people a year through their outreach events, including parades, robotics camps, and STEM tent and stage shows at the Boone County Fair—the largest county fair in Illinois. The team also mentors two FIRST Lego League (FLL) teams, the Atomic Chimps and the Micro Chimps, and a FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) team, the Techno Tamarins.
Team 3352: Flaming Monkeys (Belvidere, Illinois)—http://flamingmonkeys.org/index.php
The Metalheads were formed in 1994, and have participated in the FIRST Robotics program for over 21 years, making it one of the oldest teams in the FIRST Robotics family. The team is currently supported and represented by students from Freeport and Lena-Winslow high schools.
The mission of the Metalheads team is to involve students, teachers, and mentors in experiencing the process of inventing and constructing a robot for a useful purpose utilizing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) initiatives that inspire students to become excited and confident about problem solving.
Metalheads—The Next Element in Robotics! (Freeport, Illinois)
Winnovation was established in 2004 with only 17 students—the very next year included their first competition season which consisted of a trip to the championship event in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, the team had qualified for the World Championship eight times with a win-loss-tie record of 272-113-1—and has made two appearances on Einstein.
While the team is proud of their achievements, the most satisfying accomplishment is the impact they have had on more than 100 students and mentors who have been a part of the program’s journey. Several graduates are now coaching their own teams, continuing to foster curiosity, creativity, awareness, and initiative in young people across the country.
The Rockford Robotics team was founded in 2006, drawing students from public, private, and home schools in the Rock Valley area. The team has successfully made appearances at the FIRST World Championship four times.
The team believes that education, promotion of STEM education, and the building of leadership are the most important values of FIRST. Striving to reach these values and fundamental beliefs, the team has been a part of forming Junior FIRST Lego Leagues (JFLL), FIRST Lego Leagues (FLL), and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams throughout the community. This dedication also earned the team the Central Illinois Regional Chairman’s Award in 2015. The team is proud to be nurturing and supporting the future manufacturing professionals in the Rock River Valley!
In fall of 2012, Stateline Robotics was founded and has since competed in multiple FIRST Robotics Competitions. After competing in a regional competition their rookie year, they increased their competition schedule to include two regionals a year. This resulted in a strong 2016 season, making it to the elimination rounds in both regionals the team attended.
Stateline Robotics has cultivated students and mentors that can truly be proud of their accomplishments they have achieved in only a few short years.