Participating in competitive robotics is for Elm Middle School students who want to take their education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics up a notch.

But getting to that point isn’t easy — students must apply for a spot on an Elm Robotics team.

Once selected, team members design, build and program a robot that will compete in various contests, including the annual VEX Robotics Tournament in Oak Park.

Elm also hosts the Cougar Challenge robotics scrimmage.

Team members meet after school. Elm robotics teams are coached and sponsored by science teacher Mr. Steve Mrkvicka and social studies teacher Mr. Christian Hartwig.

The Elmwood Park Educational Foundation generously supported the program in its early days, raising $2,297.93 for the teams in 2015-16 alone.