Photo by David Kindler

Provided by Deb Abrahamson
Oak Park Education Foundation

The Oak Park Education Foundation’s sixth annual Vex Robotics competition on Saturday, Feb. 5 was a thrilling event. The Julian Middle School gym was packed with cheering friends, fans, parents and siblings. Julian students took the lead early on, but Brooks students pulled from behind to win 152-116.

The sixth, seventh and eighth grade participants designed, built and programmed a wide variety of clever robots that picked up rings and placed them on fixed and movable goal posts on the competition playing field. Six teams from each school will advance to a regional competition in Batavia on Saturday, Feb. 12.

It seems Robotics Club members are not only talented engineers. Julian Middle School student, James Everson, wrote a poem in adoration of the OPEF’s Robotics Club.

Robotics Club
By James Everson

I love building robots on Wednesdays
I do it so much it’s like a craze
When I do it I’m in a daze
I’ll love it forever, it’s not a phase.

In the club there are 10 teams
The classroom is ripping at the seams
Sometimes it feels like a dream
There’s so much chaos, it’s extreme.

Building bots by boisterous boys
Is more fun than playing with toys
While it’s true we make a lot of noise
It’s really something we all enjoy.

People call us “geeks” or call us “freaks” or say we’re “weak”
But we’re truly unique
We’re not meek and we loudly speak
Come see us compete!

The Oak Park Education Foundation is a privately-funded nonprofit organization that brings engineers, artists, architects and scientists to work with students at every District 97 school. For more information, and many photos of the Vex Robotics competition, visit

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Evan O'Brien

Evan O'Brien is the content manager of Soon after Evan was born in Chicago, his family moved to Oak Park for the same reason that attracts people to the "World's Largest Village" today: the...

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