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Student Spotlight: Jane Malherbe - Robotics and Engineering Pro

By: Ashlyn Kafer

Wheaton North offers a variety of activities for students; from Book Club to the Spring Musical to lacrosse as well as more finite things, such as STEM focused groups. One of those groups that North is a part of is the champion of the Smoky Mountain Regional Robotics competition, in which the Robotics Club was able to defeat their competition in categories across the board. The Robotics Club is a community team from schools across Dupage county, and ranges from eighth graders to seniors, run by real life engineers under the group name PWNAGE. Member Jane Malherbe represented Wheaton North at the competition and helped guide the team to victory with her knowledge and drive for robotics!

Jane Malherbe is a Junior and grew up enjoying STEM subjects, but mainly focusing on engineering. Malherbe joined the club at the end of her Sophomore year. Engineering is a hard and multi-faceted career and hobby, so how does one find their role? When asked where she discovered her liking for robotics, Malherbe replied, “I have always enjoyed building things and have participated in STEM camps and activities over the years.” The love for all things engineering has been deeply rooted in Jane’s life so far, so how does her expertise show? The club is a competition based system, in which, throughout their season, they design and build a robot which they compete against other teams, tweaking their design along the way to better suit their opponents. Malherbe focuses on the electrical engineering aspect of the robot, working with an engineering mentor and learning more and more about the craft. At their competitions, the team works together to challenge other bots, which includes scouting out the other teams to make alliances to face off in 3v3 matches. At the Smoky Mountain Regional Robotics Competition, the Robotics Team was a regional winner for their design. Congrats to all those who participated and congratulations to Jane for her triumphs!

Jane Malherbe is an inspiring member of the Wheaton North student body, showing that with a little bit of drive, you can do great things with your talents or interests. Jane described her affinity for the club, “I enjoy learning more about engineering while we build and develop the robot. I’ve always enjoyed figuring out how things work. I would recommend that other people interested in STEM join the club. There will be an open house this spring, and if anyone is interested, they can find information at” Malherbe encourages others with the same interest in robotics to check out the PWNAGE Robotics Team! Congratulations once more and good luck on the seasons to come!

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