Contact:

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

 

Top teams can attend the West Super-Regional Championship

Portland, OR March 5, 2014: The Oregon University System (OUS) is pleased to announce the results of the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Tournament held on March 2, 2014 at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland. The statewide robotics competition brought together 50 top middle/high school robotics teams to compete with custom-made robots in 1½-day competition: “Block Party!”  Earlier this year over 175 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. 

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 Block Party, teams formed and competed in alliances, with each alliance attempting to place small cubes in baskets on a balance beam.  A highlight of the competition this year was some of the robots doing “chin ups” for bonus points.

The Inspire Award, the most prestigious award of the competition, went to E=mc^Squirreled of Village Home Education Resource Center in Beaverton. The Inspire Award is given to the team which 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.  Amiel Patton-Hall, a member of E=mc^Squirreled, said “Participating in FTC has made me absolutely love science, technology, engineering and math.”

During the competition teams formed alliances of three teams each and these alliances competed in elimination rounds. Gromit's Grommets of Pleasant Hill High School served as the captain of the Winning Alliance.  Hannah Gibson, the captain of Gromit’s Grommets, said “I’m most proud of all that we have learned and achieved, especially with our community.” Team AFOOFA of Washington County 4-H and Circuit Boardum of Judson Middle School in Salem were the other two teams in the Winning Alliance.  

Based on their performance at the Oregon Championship, 12 Oregon teams and 1 from Vancouver, Washington have received invitations to the Western Super Regional where the top 72 teams from the 13 western states will compete.  Seven Oregon teams had previously participated in Championship Tournaments in neighboring states, and had done so well that they had previously received invitations to the Super Regional.  In fact, over a quarter of the invitations are going to Oregon teams while Oregon has a tiny fraction of the population of the 13 western states, an effect of Oregon having one of the largest and most successful FTC programs in the country.

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.

ORTOP thanks its generous sponsors for this event.  For more information on the program go to: www.ortop.org/ftc.

Oregon FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Awards - March 2, 2014

FTC Championship Award Descriptions

Team Name

Team Affiliation

Team City

Inspire Award Winner

E=mc^Squirreled

Village Home Education Resource Center

Beaverton

Inspire Award 2nd place

Team AFOOFA

4-H Washington County

Portland

Inspire Award 3rd place

Batteries In Black

Washington County 4H

Portland

Winning Alliance Captain Team

Gromit's Grommets

Pleasant Hill High School

Pleasant Hill

Winning Alliance, Member Team

Team AFOOFA

4-H Washington County

Portland

Winning Alliance, Member Team

Circuit Boardum

Judson Middle School

Salem

Finalist Alliance Captain Team

Hot Wired Robotics

Spark Technology Education & Stoller Middle School

Portland

Finalist Alliance, Member Team

ThunderBots

Mountain View High School

Vancouver

Finalist Alliance, Member Team

Bulldog Robotics

Hermiston High School

Hermiston

Control Award

Hot Wired Robotics

Spark Technology Education & Stoller Middle School

Portland

Think Award Winner

Batteries In Black

Washington County 4H

Portland

Connect Award Winner

Absent Minded Geniuses

Douglas County 4-H

Glide

Rockwell Collins Innovate Award Winner

BanksBots The Farewell Tour

Washington County 4-H

Banks

PTC Design Award Winner

IronMen (fe Male)

Newberg High School

Newberg

Motivate Award Winner

The Blue Dwarves

Junction City High School

Junction City

Division Finalist Alliance Captain Team

PARADOX

Neighborhood team

Portland

Division Finalist Alliance Member Team

Batteries In Black

Washington County 4H

Portland

Division Finalist Alliance Member Team

BanksBots The Farewell Tour

Washington County 4-H

Banks

Division Finalist Alliance Captain Team

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Stoller Middle School

Portland

Division Finalist Alliance Member Team

IronMen (fe Male)

Newberg High School

Newberg

Division Finalist Alliance Member Team

Absent Minded Geniuses

Douglas County 4-H

Glide

 

— OUS —

The Oregon University System (OUS) makes college a reality for Oregonians statewide by keeping higher education accessible, affordable and high quality. We integrate Oregon’s public universities with the entire PreK-20 education system to ensure student success. OUS’ higher education offerings meet the needs of Oregon’s economy today and in the future, contributing to the vitality of the state and the success of more than 20,000 graduates a year. 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