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First Lego League: Robotics winners announced from The Dalles Tournaments

Members of the Wy’east team Pink Fluffy Unicorns react to being named first place overall on Dec. 9: From left, Bryn Heinemann, Noah McElheran, Titus Grimsley, Charlie Wilson, Annika Trainer and Johanna Walker. The Hydrobots, also from Wy’east (not pictured, Emiliano Ramirez, Julio Marquez, Yarisa Magana, Julian Jaimes and Eduardo Cortez), took first place in robot performance, first place in core values, and also received an invitation to the state tournament.

Photo by Trisha Walker.
Members of the Wy’east team Pink Fluffy Unicorns react to being named first place overall on Dec. 9: From left, Bryn Heinemann, Noah McElheran, Titus Grimsley, Charlie Wilson, Annika Trainer and Johanna Walker. The Hydrobots, also from Wy’east (not pictured, Emiliano Ramirez, Julio Marquez, Yarisa Magana, Julian Jaimes and Eduardo Cortez), took first place in robot performance, first place in core values, and also received an invitation to the state tournament.

Thirty-six teams of students ages 9 to 14 competed at the First Lego League (FLL) robotics tournaments on Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10. The Dalles Middle School event welcomed teams from as far as Hermiston, Heppner, Irrigon and Ione as well as Klickitat, Stevenson, Dufur, Mosier, Centerville, Hood River and The Dalles. Eleven teams were chosen to advance to the state competition in Hillsboro in January.

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ROBOTICS teammates Bodei Barteld, left, John Beckman, Caleb Foster and Mason Heinemann of the First Lego League team R.U.S.H. from Hood River Middle School watch tensely as their robot performs in the table competition at the tournament in The Dalles on Dec. 10 (not pictured: Cooper Wood).

Teams worked over the past several months to design and program robots and complete a research project. At the Gorge tournaments, teams demonstrate their robot’s capabilities on the competition table, are interviewed by a robot design panel, present their research project and are assessed on teamwork skills.

The Gorge events are held by the Gorge Technology Alliance with support from Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program, North Wasco County School District 21, Hood River County School District and the Gorge STEM Hub. Top local sponsors include Google, Hood Tech and Insitu.

Organizers congratulate all the teams who competed on Dec. 9-10 and honored these top award winners:

• Overall 1st Place Champions: Pink Fluffy Unicorns from Wy’east Middle School and Hydro Automatons from Hood River.

• Overall 2nd Place Champions: Team Water Works from Colonel Wright Elementary and R.U.S.H. from Hood River Middle School.

• Additional top teams that advanced to the state tournament: The Jawbreakers and Fusion X from Wasco County 4-H, Klick 1 from Klickitat School, the Hydrobots from Wy’east Middle School, Reigning Wizards from the Gorge, The Hydro Hipsters from May Street Elementary and the Hydro Helpers from Mosier Community School.

Additional top awards were given to a number of teams for their outstanding performances in specific areas of the competition:

• Core Values Award: The Hydrobots from Wy’east Middle School and The Hydro Hipsters from May Street Elementary.

• Project Award: Klick 2 from Klickitat School and the Hydro Helpers from Mosier Community School.

• Robot Design Award: The Jawbreakers from Wasco County 4-H and the Reigning Wizards from the Gorge.

• Robot Performance Award: The Hydrobots from Wy’east Middle School and Hydro Automatons from Hood River.

• Rising Star Award: Water Warriors from Colonel Wright Elementary and Team Genesis from Hermiston.

For more information about youth robotics in the Gorge, visit Gorgerobotics.org or contact Jessica Metta with the GTA at 541-296-2266 or Jessica@crgta.org.

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