The Morton West Robotics Club took home the State Champs title with Monster Munchies. The Morton West High School robotics club built a vending machine called “Monster Munchies” this past winter. The vending machine was entered into the Triton College (IDEA) Illinois Design Educator Association Regional Competition for the engineering design team event in March 2021. The design team, also known as M3M (Las 3 Morenas de Morton) included Jacqueline Perez Rivas ’23, Heriomy Garcia ’23, and Xitalli Castaneda ’23, began fabricating the design in January, working on the first prototype through March. With a limited budget of $50, the team put together a vending machine that dispenses three different types of candy while accepting quarters as payment.
Mark Stoch, Morton West Engineering Teacher said “I would say this is by far the most sophisticated thing that we’ve done, we won first place in the regional. They keep with our track record so every time we’ve competed in this event and got into the state round we’ve never finished lower than third place in the state competition as a school”. The competing design team heard about their results at the end of April for the state competition. Storch said, “I think the best part is going to competitions and seeing what other schools do and like we’re really not that different from some other schools, we are equally as competitive as other schools that might be more prestigious in name, but we produce a good product. We have won enough competitions that when we talk to other engineering teachers or other students, they know that we can do some good things”. The engineering design team has been successful in the past years when it comes to their designs and inventions. “I don’t think a lot of people know how many awards and things we have done, we have been very successful a lot of people sort of don’t know that and I have been very pleased about that over the years” Stoch added.
Hermiony Garcia ’23 who is a member of M3M said “Competition could be a group project or an individual project, you create something with your group and bond in the process as well as overcome challenges. In the end, you will feel very satisfied and relieved when it is over. It was very exciting leading up to it”. The students go to different competitions and compete against schools across the state.
Stoch added, “Another sort of unique thing is that every time we have done an engineering design team, it has always been an all-girls team here at Morton West. ” The girls of M3M will be getting recognized by the school board on May 12th. Monster Munchies is placed at the Freshman Center and it contains three different types of candies; Kit-Kats, M&Ms, and Snickers. The objective is to design, model, and develop a functional prototype device for fundraising. The vending machine can be successfully used to fundraise for clubs at Morton West.