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Middle/High School Student Robotics Teams Excel at Oregon “Ring It Up!” Championship

Top teams have the opportunity to attend the World Championship and apply for special scholarships

Contacts:

Bruce Schafer,
Director, OUS Industry Affairs; Office: 503-725-2915; Cell: 503-332-4666
Cathy Swider,
Project Administrator, OUS; Office: 503-725-2920; Cell: 971-219-1020

Hillsboro, OR, March 6, 2013: The Oregon University System (OUS) is pleased to announce the results of the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Tournament held on March 3, 2013 at South Meadows Middle School in Hillsboro. The statewide robotics competition brought together 36 top middle/high school robotics teams to compete with custom-made robots in an all-day competition: “Ring It Up!” Earlier in this year over 100 teams from around Oregon and SW Washington competed at qualifying tournaments, and the top-performing teams from these events participated in this weekend’s championship. Two of this weekend’s winning teams have the opportunity to participate in the FTC World Championship to be held in St. Louis, Missouri in April, where they may compete for additional awards and meet with college recruiters. In addition, two Oregon teams had previously earned invitations to the World Championship by participating in events in other states.

Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program (ORTOP) offers the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) pre-engineering program to help students in grades 8 through 12 begin exploring technical careers, and Oregon boasts one of the largest FIRST Tech Challenge programs in the nation. Each team is comprised of up to ten students in grades 8 through 12 who start the season in the fall by designing and programming a unique robot using a robotics kit called Tetrix. The robots compete on a 12-foot by 12-foot playing field, and 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. In this year’s championship Ring It Up, teams formed and competed in alliances, with each alliance attempting to place rings on pegs representing a tic-tac-toe board. A highlight of the competition this year was some of the robots lifting other robots in the air for bonus points. Since the robots themselves are not large, and must start each match no larger than 18” high, this was an amazing feat of engineering.

The Inspire Award, the most prestigious award of the competition, went to Batteries in Black affiliated with 4-H in Washington County. 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. Second place in the Inspire category went to Untitled-8, a community team from Lake Oswego and third place went to The Dead Ringers, a neighborhood team from Banks. Both Batteries in Black and Untitled-8 received invitations to the World Championship.

Batteries in Black also served as the captain of the Winning Alliance. Tiger Team and Newberg Tiger, both from Newberg High School, were the other two teams in the Winning Alliance.

This weekend’s tournament included 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). Many participants in this robotics program have advanced to this level through ORTOP’s youth program, FIRST LEGO League, 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. Many of the FTC teams participating have benefited from grants from ORTOP through the generous support of ORTOP sponsors. 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 many in Oregon.

Bruce Schafer, director of industry partnerships 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. For more information on the program go to: http://www.ortop.org/ftc. All awards from this weekend’s tournament are summarized in the following table.

Oregon FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Awards - March 3, 2013 

FTC Championship Award Descriptions

Team Name

Team Affiliation

Team City

Inspire Award - 1st Place

Batteries in Black

4-H Washington County

Beaverton

Inspire Award - 2nd Place

Untitled-8

Community Team

Lake Oswego

Inspire Award - 3rd Place

The Dead Ringers

Banks Neighborhood

Banks

Winning Alliance - Captain

Batteries in Black

4-H Washington County

Beaverton

Winning Alliance - 1st Pick

Tiger Team

Newberg High School

Newberg

Winning Alliance - 2nd Pick

Newberg Tiger Team 2

Newberg High School

Newberg

Finalist Alliance - Captain

Short Circuits

Community Team

Beaverton

Finalist Alliance - 1st Pick

Nanites

Lincoln High School

Portland

Finalist Alliance - 2nd Pick

Team AFOOFA

4-H Washington County

Beaverton

Think Award

e=mc(squirrelled)

Village Home Education Resource

Beaverton

Rockwell Collins Innovate Award

Short Circuits

Community Team

Beaverton

PTC Design Award

The Dead Ringers

Banks Neighborhood

Banks

Connect Award

Untitled-8

Community Team

Lake Oswego

Motivate Award

Pac Bots

Tigard High School

Tigard

Promote Award

Tiger Team

Newberg High School

Newberg

Advancement to the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championships in St. Louis, Mo on April 25 - 27, 2013.

Oregon FTC Championship Inspire Award Winner, 3/3/13

Batteries in Black

4-H Washington County

Beaverton

Oregon FTC Championship - Inspire Award - 2nd Place, 3/3/13

Untitled-8

Community Team

Lake Oswego

Northern Nevada FTC Championship Inspire Award Winner, 2/23/13

Newberg Tigers

Newberg High School

Newberg

Idaho FTC Championship, Inspire Award Winner, 2/16/13

Short Circuits

Community Team

Beaverton

 

— OUS —

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, 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