HRV rules OMSI robotics contest

Feb. 9, 2011

Talk about passing the rookie test.

The Hood River Valley High School Robotic teams dominated the FTC Robotics Tournament at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry last weekend.

The Robot G's and Blue Steel robotics teams from HRVHS, which formed this year, took first place at the event.

They both advance to the Oregon State Championship Tournament in Hillsboro on Feb. 27 where they'll compete with 24 teams to represent Oregon at the World Championships.

Both teams' robots worked the large mission field, gathering points and battling 14 other robots through several hours of competition. They completed the qualifier matches with the Robot G's on top and Blue Steel in second place.

"This gave them the opportunity to pair up for the final competition rounds. They went through the final matches undefeated, giving them the right to move on to state," said advisor Jeff Blackman.

In addition to their winning competition alliance, Blue Steel (comprised of sophomores) won the FTC Design award for their robot's design and aesthetics. Robot G's (comprised of upper classmates) won the FIRST Tech Challenge Think award which acknowledges their "designs, redesigns, successes, and those 'interesting moments' when things weren't going as planned," Blackman said.

Team members are Lilly Paul, Eric Hamada, Sophie Standish, Roslyn Patrick-Sunnes, Petra Knapp, McKenzie Kerr, Sam Lee, Zack Pearson, Alicia Everitt, Marit Knapp, Tania Tostado, Victor Rodriguez and Jesus Solano Palacios.

Team sponsors are Google, Juanita's Market and Gorge Technology Alliance. Assisting Blackman are mentors Mark Dane, Barry Paul and Aram Soghikian.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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