Register for free robotics trainings

The Gorge Technology Alliance is hosting two free robotics trainings in honor of National Robotics Week, April 6-14. Register students ages 9-14 now to participate on April 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in The Dalles or April 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Moro.

This free training will provide both beginner and advanced construction and programming action on the LEGO Mindstorms NXT robotics kits. Robots will be provided by StRUT (Students Recycling Used Technology) and the GTA’s loaner robotics program, which can loan robots and laptops to any school or youth group in the five-county Gorge region.

This fun training will get students hands-on experience with the NXT sensors, motors and programming and give them a few team challenges to tackle during the day. The training will be provided by Marty Willie, who has previously worked in public education for 12-years and honored twice as Rotary’s Educator of the Year.

Most recently, Marty served as the Oregon-Southwest Washington FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) senior mentor.

In 2012, Marty received LEGO Education’s Award of Excellence for teaching students to use the Mindstorm NXT Robot.

The Gorge Technology Alliance is a nonprofit professional organization that supports, connects and develops the technology community of the Columbia River Gorge. From networking events to youth robotics events, the GTA supports the tech businesses in the region.

Register for the training or learn more at GorgeRobotics.org or by contacting Jessica Metta, GTA executive director, at 541-296-2266.

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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



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