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Sandburg’s Robotics Team engineers success, secures spot in play-offs

Carl Sandburg High School’s Robotics Team Eagle Army, better known as Team 3488, finished strong at the Central Illinois Regional FIRST Robotics Competition last weekend in Peoria. One of 38 teams competing, Team 3488 advanced to the playoffs and finished 12th overall with a record of 5-3.


Eagle Army made it to the playoffs selected by the 6th seed Alliance Captain 5041 CyBears, along with team 2704 Roaring Robotics, working together on and off the pits to put out the best robots possible. Working in tandem with the students are Head Coach David Brewczynski, Drive Team Coach Rebecca Roti, and volunteer Mentor and Alumni Dad Mike Sommer.  

Coach and sponsor Rebecca Roti says, “Robotics is truly a feat of planning, predicting, teamwork, and fast action! I am so proud of this team.”

The regional robotics competition is an intense three-day event showcasing robots developed and operated by teams of high school students. The robots represent focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, and managing project deadlines. The mentor/student interaction is integral to the program. It takes a lot of hard work to develop a competitive robot, and it shows when you see them in action at the competition.

The robots are big and weigh up to 125 pounds. In the competition, two alliances (red and blue) each composed of three robot teams play each other on fields the size of a basketball half-court. Qualifying rounds are played to determine the top eight-seeded individual teams. These top eight individual teams select two other teams they would like to join them in forming an alliance for the Play-Off matches. The eight alliances compete in a double-elimination bracket until just two alliances remain. These two alliances then face off in a best-of-three series to determine the Central Illinois Regional Champions.

This robotics challenge began over winter break as students cleared their schedules to watch the international reveal of this year's game, Crescendo. Then, the rules manual is unlocked and teams begin their planning for the season. Teams can attend as many competitions throughout the season with the same and/or improved robot as their budget and schedule allow. Team 3488 typically goes to the Midwest Regional.


The Central Illinois competition hosted more than 80 matches over three days, with a dedicated pit area for every team to inspect, repair, improve, and store their robot.