Gorge Lego robotics season starts this month

A TENSE MOMENT, from FLL competition in 2012. Gorge tourna-ments resume starting Dec. 7-8 in The Dalles.

Submitted photo
A TENSE MOMENT, from FLL competition in 2012. Gorge tourna-ments resume starting Dec. 7-8 in The Dalles.

Families and robot lovers of all ages are invited to watch the fun at the Columbia Gorge First Lego League Tournaments in December. These free events will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 and 8 at The Dalles Middle School (1100 E. 12th St.) and Dec. 15 at Wy’east Middle School (3000 Wy’east Road near Odell). These tournaments are local qualifiers for the international FLL robotics competition for kids ages 9 to 14. Winners will travel to the state tournaments in Hillsboro in January.

These events are held locally by the Gorge Technology Alliance with sponsorship support from Google.

“This is our fourth year of these tournaments and we’re excited to have the most kids participating yet, with 55 teams from all across the region,” says GTA Executive Director Jessica Metta, who acts as the tournament director for the three events. Teams will be traveling from Dallesport, Goldendale, Grass Valley, Hood River, Klickitat, Lyle, Mosier, Parkdale, Skamania, The Dalles and Trout Lake.

In FLL competitions, teams use off-the-shelf LEGO robotics kits to construct working robots which compete on a 4-by-8-foot playing field. Each year, FLL defines a challenge that drives team activities.

In this fall’s challenge, “Nature’s Fury: Prepare. Be Safe. Rebuild.,” teams researched natural disasters and created innovative solutions to solve problems caused by natural disasters that hadn’t already been solved. Each team participates in several rounds of judging including robot design and programming, teamwork, completion of the natural disaster research and of course — performance on the playing field.

For more information, contact Metta at 541-296-2266 or jessica@crgta.org.

Latest stories

Latest video:

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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



Log in to comment

Columbia Gorge news and businesses