The Rock River Robotics Off-season Competition (R2OC) announced last week that the 11th annual R2OC would take place on Saturday, July 22, at the Rock Valley College PE Center.

A premier STEM event and showcase produced by volunteers and generously supported by titanium sponsors Collins Aerospace, PCI Pharma Services and Woodward, R2OC featured some of the Rockford region’s and Midwest’s most talented youth who design, build, program and operate robots that compete on a custom field of play.

A co-production of the Flaming Monkeys Robotics (Belvidere), Rockford Robotics, Stateline Robotics (Rockton), and Winnovation (Winnebago and Pecatonica), this year’s R2OC featured 30 teams from five states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin).

“On behalf of the R2OC Committee, we’re thrilled to help provide opportunities for area high school students to showcase and apply their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by designing, building and programming robots in a competitive format,” said Karen Hill, R2OC co-chair and lead mentor for Winnovation.

“This is a varsity sport for the mind that helps students develop the soft and technical skills necessary to succeed in high school, college and beyond – an important byproduct that means so much to our community!”

Founded in 2012, R2OC (501(c)(3)) is again highlighted by its significant giveback programs. For the seventh-straight year, R2OC is awarding post-secondary education scholarships to participating juniors and seniors, including $500 (one student), $1,000 (three students) and $1,500 (one student) denominations.

Additionally, R2OC has earmarked up to $5,000 in grant funding for robotics programming expenses available exclusively for youth robotics programs based in Boone, Stephenson and Winnebago counties—the three counties represented by the event’s founding teams.

Moreover, teams and event attendees were encouraged to support the 2023 R2OC Donation Drive by bringing canned foods, feminine hygiene products and/or toiletries to the event for the Rockford Rescue Mission.

This off-season event is derived from the international FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), which combines sports with the rigors of science and technology. FIRST Robotics Competition is the varsity sport for the mind, featuring teams of 10 or more high school students who are challenged to: build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors; raise funds; design a team brand; and hone teamwork skills. For more about FRC, visit

For event information and to learn more about R2OC, visit

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