HOFFMAN ESTATES - Some suburban high schoolers are taking technology to a completely new level.
This year, what makes it extra special is that the Hoffman Estates team, made entirely of girls, is getting ready to compete in an international competition.
The team at Hoffman Estates High School is hard at work practicing in the pool for the competition in August. No, it is not for sports but for underwater robotics. They have created a robot to help solve real world problems.
The HAWKS engineering team was founded in September 2014 by a team of high school engineering students, and this will be the third time the team has made it all the way to internationals.
This year, the club is made up of three young ladies – two seniors and a junior.
They have spent hundreds of hours designing, building and programming every inch of the robot, which is made out of plastic, Aluminum and acrylic.
This year’s international competition focuses on cleaning waterways, so they have developed the robot to complete tasks like picking up surface debris or pollutants in the water.
It is something all three ladies care about deeply.
"This club helps me apply all of the skills that I’ve been learning at school to something that's in the real world," said junior Sindhuja Bonagiri.
"I do very much care about the Earth and I think it's important for all of us to try to save it before it's too late, so this ROV can be a little stepping stone in, you know, in cleaning up some plastics in our oceans," said senior Julia Chom.
The international competition will take place in Tennessee. The ladies will compete against more than 30 teams from across the US and around the world.