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Robotics teams compete head-to-head at Oregon Hot Shot! Tournament

Contact:

Bruce Schafer, Director, OUS Industry Affairs; Office: 503-725-2915; Cell: 503-332-4666
Jo Oshiro, Program Coordinator, OUS; Office: 503-725-2910

Top two teams advance to the World Championship after the State Championship Tournament

Hillsboro, OR, March 1, 2010: The Oregon University System (OUS) is pleased to announce the results of the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Tournament held on February 28, 2010 at South Meadows Middle School in Hillsboro. The statewide robotics competition brought together 12 winning teams to compete with custom-made robots in an all-day competition “Hot Shot!.”  Earlier in February, 41 teams from around Oregon competed at qualifying tournaments, and the top-performing 50% from these events participated in this weekend’s championships. 

Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP) offers the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) pre-engineering program to help students in grades 8 through12 begin exploring technical careers. Oregon boasts one of the largest FIRST Tech Challenge programs in the nation. Many participants in this robotics program have advanced to this level through ORTOP’s youth program, FIRST LEGO Robotics, for students aged 9-14. Oregon companies and industry associations collaborate with the OUS, hundreds of volunteers, and major youth organizations to implement the programs. Teams who participate in FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST Robotics Competition have the opportunity to apply for college scholarships reserved specifically for them at prestigious universities around the country, including Oregon State University.

Each team is made up of up to ten students in grades 8 through 12, who start the season in the fall by designing and programming a unique robot. The teams used a robotics kit called Tetrix to construct ingenious robots, which compete on a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field.  In this year’s Hot Shot! Challenge, teams formed alliances where two robots competed for the blue side and two for the red side. Each alliance attempted to get the most plastic balls into a variety of goals each of which has a point value based on difficulty. During the first 30 seconds the robots must operate completely autonomously – without human intervention. For the next 120 seconds team members can assist the robots by sending commands using wireless connections between their laptop computers and the robots.

This weekend’s tournaments showed a great diversity of teams, including girls and boys from public and private schools, and from rural and urban communities around the state, and many won awards for their outstanding achievements (see summary chart on page 2). The Inspire Award, the most prestigious award of the competition, went to The Short Circuits from Meadow Park Middle School in Beaverton. The Inspire Award is awarded to the team that performed well in all judging categories and was chosen as a model FIRST Tech Challenge team. The judges used observations made during interviews and in the pit area, the team’s engineering notebook, and performance on the playing field in determining the winner.

The team that served as the Captain of the Winning Alliance was Titan Robotics Team 2 from West Salem High School in Salem. This team provided the leadership to pull its alliance together in a series of final rounds that led to the top position in the final elimination.

These two winning teams have the opportunity to advance to the FTC World Championship to be held in Atlanta, Georgia in April, where they may compete for additional awards and meet with college recruiters.  

Many other teams at the Championship Tournament won awards for their achievements. These awards are summarized in the following table:

Award

Team Name

Affiliation

City

Inspire Award, 1st Place

The Short Circuits,

Meadow Park Middle School

Beaverton

Winning Alliance Captain

Titan Robotics Team 2

West Salem High School

Salem

Winning Alliance – 1st Pick

The Skulls

West Salem High School

Salem

Winning Alliance – 2nd Pick

Titan Robotics Team 1

West Salem High School

Salem

Think Award

Technology Designers of Tomorrow

The Dalles Wahtonka High School

The Dalles

Rockwell Collins Innovate Award

Spartans

Hillsboro High School

Hillsboro

Connect Award

Bot Jox

Cottage Grove High School

Cottage Grove

PTC Design Award

Untitled-8

Waluga Junior High School

Lake Oswego

Motivate Award

Flaming Cup Noodles

Community Team

Portland

Finalist Alliance Captain

The Short Circuits

Meadow Park Middle School

Beaverton

Finalist Alliance – 1st Pick

POP TAARTS

Amity School District

Amity

Finalist Alliance – 2nd Pick

Flaming Cup Noodles

Community Team

Portland

Bruce Schafer, director of industry affairs for OUS, said, “Many congratulations to all the teams that participated in this year’s season.  We look forward seeing them in our engineering and computer science classrooms in the years ahead.”  

ORTOP thanks its generous sponsors for this event, particularly Rockwell Collins as the presenting sponsor and and RadiSys and TechAmerica as Platinum sponsors.  For more information on the program go to: www.ortop.org.

— OUS —

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu.

FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO® League (FLL) for children 9-14 years old, and Junior FIRST LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9 year-olds. For more information, go to www.usfirst.org

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