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Team Achievements

Every year, the BotDogs:

  • Promotes FIRST ® Robotics and STEM programs throughout the Chicago Public School District

  • Establishes meaningful partnerships with local schools and businesses to ensure a beneficial and lasting impact in our community.

  • Provides authentic learning opportunities for students by creating a collaborative environment with professional engineers from the community

  • Revolutionizes the accessibility of STEM education as a right, not a privilege.

  • Inspires students of diverse backgrounds to pursue post-secondary opportunities in technology and engineering-based careers to bring diversity to the world of robotics

We are Engineering a Better Future by:

  • Providing students from underrepresented demographics, including women and students with special needs, access to opportunities and activities in STEM fields

  • Engaging our community to create lasting partnerships with other schools, teams, businesses, and museums to promote STEM education

  • Actively changing the face of education through our extensive alumni network and our creation of revolutionary new programs and courses in the nation’s 3rd largest school district and some of the best colleges and universities in the world.

Season Achievements:

The Chicago Style BotDogs, formerly X-Machina, is a seasoned team with 12 seasons beneath our belt, and we have accomplished much during this time. Our team is the proud winners and achievers of several accomplishments:

  • 2013 Rookie All-Star award and the 2014 Engineering Inspiration award at the Midwest Regional Competition.

  • 2016, 2017, 2022, and the 2023 Spirit Award.

  • 2015 Judges' Award

  • Qualified for the World Championship Tournament, placing among the top third of all of the international teams that competed in our first two seasons in 2013.

  • First place winners at the Central Illinois, yet again, qualifying us for the World Championship Tournament in 2018.

  • Semifinalists at the Central Illinois Regional in 2019 (almost qualifying for the World Championship Tournament for the second year consecutively).

Major Program Outreach Highlights

  • Creation of Adaptive Robotics program

    • Students with autism participate in a modified version of FIRST ® LEGO® League while being mentored by FRC 4645 team members

    • Designed and written by BotDogs members in collaboration with the Special Education Department at Lane Technical High School

      • The course has been approved by CPS, the third-largest school district in the nation, and is available for implementation in any district school.

  • National Panel Discussion on Advancing Inclusion in Schools

    • A member was invited by Google and Donor’s Choose to be the only teenage panelist in “a national conversation: advancing inclusion in our schools,” alongside the Department of Education, National Parent-Teacher Association, and educators nationwide

    • Given a $2,500 grant for our work

  • Partnered with the Chicago Girls in Computing

    • We presented to over 125 young women for an
      called “DigiGirlz" where they spoke about FIRST ® 
      and gave a demonstration of an FTC robot.

  • Robot Revolution Exhibit - Museum of Science and Industry

    • The members of the BotDogs who were formerly on our all-girls GEMS team are featured in the nationwide museum exhibit, Robot Revolution. This exhibit features our team members in an interactive video display.

  • RoboTour (2013, 2014, 2015)

    • The BotDogs organized a field trip to neighboring elementary
      schools to demo our FRC, FTC, and FLL robots and get students
      and schools interested in starting FLL teams.

    • Tweeted throughout the day and had such a positive response
      we had twice the number of schools we visited ask to sign up
      for future RoboTours

    • Now targeting low-income minority schools​

  • 2014 FIRST Promotional Video

    • Sent to 477 schools, including every school in CPS

    • Featured BotDogs team members talking about FIRST

    • and how to start a team

    • Tweeted by CPS to 15,000 followers within 24 hours of its

    • online launch

    • Several hundred views in the first couple hours of
      being uploaded

  • Microsoft Presentation (2014 & 2015)

  • MSI Robot Block Party 2014-2016

    • The BotDogs took part in an exhibit to promote FIRST and STEM to all museum patrons

    • Demonstrated robots to kids and parents to develop an interest in robots​​

  • 2015 FIRST Promotional Video

    • Sent to over 800 schools around the state of Illinois,  resulting in 10 schools immediately committing to an FTC team in 2015

    • In conjunction with our project to get IHSA to recognize FIRST Robotics, we targeted IHSA schools specifically in order to get at least 10% of all IHSA schools to have a FIRST team. This is the number of schools required to get IHSA to track FIRST as an emerging sport

  • Hosted FTC Summit 2015

    • Provided 9 teams with a replica FTC competition field to work, experiment, and redesign with. 

    • Botdog members taught engineering and strategy workshops and seminars.

    • Helped FTC teams troubleshoot hardware and software problems​​​​​

  • Aspire IT 2016

    • Taught a 7-week programming course to 40 5th-8th grade girls,
      many of 
      whom did not have any prior programming experience

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