Friday, March 1, 2013
Three Hood River Valley High School robotics teams won state championship slots at OMSI’s First Tech Challenge qualifying tournament on Feb. 24. They all advance to finals this weekend.
The Portland event had 16 teams competing and started with five qualifying rounds, placing Hood River teams first, second, sixth and eighth.
Hood River team Magnum (first place) chose to ally with a Hermiston team to compete against two of the remaining Hood River teams, The Men Who Stare At Programs and Black Hawks.
After three rounds The Men Who Stare at Programs and Black Hawks defeated Magnum to take first place.
All three Hood River teams earned a slot at state.
The highest award of the day at OMSI was the Inspire award and was taken home by HRV’s team Magnum (formerly Blue Steel). This award is given to the team that encompasses all of the aspects of First robotics: robot performance, robot design, community service and outreach.
The Oregon State First Tech Challenge event will be held March 3 at South Meadows Middle School in Hillsboro. Team coach Jeff Blackman hopes that the community will turn out in support of the teams as they compete with others from across Oregon and Washington.
All competing robotic teams will use a combination of robot design, construction, documentation and programming to win a technological challenge couched in a prescribed robotics “game.”
This year’s FTC state-level game is called “Ring It Up!” Teams will engage their robots against opposition’s on a 12x12-foot diamond-shaped field.
The object of the game is to score more points than your opponent’s alliance by having robots select, transport and place plastic rings onto pegs on the center rack. Teams will also be challenged to detect special “weighted” rings to earn a special multiplier bonus.
Two alliances comprised of two teams each compete in matches consisting of a 30-second autonomous period followed by a two- minute driver controlled period.
This year’s 16 final teams competed in a field of 106 entrants through a five-week series of qualifying events.
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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge