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Hinsdale Central rookies are all-stars in robotics

Akshay Patel of Hinsdale (from left), Manoj Kurapati of Westmont and Suraj Khatau of Oak Brook, members of Central's robotics team, work on design ing a computer. | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media
Hinsdale Central juniors Jordyn Imaña of Willowbrook (center) and Zena McCarthy of Clarendon Hills listen to mentor JIm Gerry explain how the logistics division should chronicle the robotics team's progress. | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media
“I’m doing this because I’m passionate about it,” says Jordyn Imaña, a junior, who started a robotics team at Hinsdale Central. “It doesn’t feel like work to me.” | Kimberly Fornek/Sun-Times Media Dec. 11, 2013

Hinsdale Central High School’s inaugural robotics team already is a winner.

The team, named the DevilStorm, was recognized as the Rookie All-Star team in the Midwest Regional Competition.

The award qualifies the team to advance to the World Championship in St. Louis April 23 to 26.

The Hinsdale High School District 86 Board recognized the achievement and agreed to fund the $5,000 entry fee for the world event, when the team and its sponsor, math teacher Steve Wilson, appeared before the board.

Fifty-four teams competed in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition regional meet held at the University of Illinois Chicago campus.

The Rookie All-Star award showed the judges recognized “the amazing amount of promise” the Hinsdale Central team showed, as well as their teamwork and the quality of the robot they created, Wilson said.

Jordyn Imaña, a junior from Willowbrook, was the driving force behind the formation of the robotics team. She and other interested students completed an application that included essays, a business plan and budget, for a grant from NASA. NASA awarded them $6,000 to pay for the registration costs for the first round competition held in February.

Wilson said his goals for the new team were modest, hoping the students could create a robot that passed inspection and was allowed to participate. The team’s success showed he should dream bigger dreams.

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