Monday, February 7, 2011
Hood River Valley High School's Engineering II class has final exams, of a sort, this week that put several months' worth of work to the test in a matter of just a few minutes.
Both teams started the semester with a box full of parts, a computer and a basic understanding of robotics from the prior Engineering I class.
The objective was simple, yet very complex: Design, build and program a robot that can be both autonomous and remote-controlled, to eventually compete in end-of-the-term contests against other schools on a standard set of challenges.
With one contest under their belt from the weekend, the teams travel to OMSI this weekend for a second chance at qualifying for the First Robotics FTC state competition set for next month.
"The teams have done a great job working through the challenges of building and programming these robots,"?said HRVHS teacher Jeff Blackman. "The programming they use is "Robot-C", which is a derivative of C++. That's the main language of computer science these days, so learning it is extremely useful for the future."
Blackman said funding for the robotics kits and computers came from Google grants, and Juanita's Foods sponsored one team.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge