Mechanikids have got the right stuff

Camas Team earned two trophies at recent FIRST LEGO League competition

Before every FIRST LEGO League Robotics competition, a judge inspects the team’s robot to ensure it meets requirements and asks questions. The Camas Mechanikids scored approximately 360 points, the highest of the contest. The second-place team scored approximately 298 points.

A local robotics team from Camas fared well at a recent regional competition.

The Mechanikids won first overall in robot performance, as well as a trophy for a spot in the state competition this Saturday and Sunday.

Both the regional and state competition consists of Core Values judging, Research Presentation, and Robot Performance.

The Mechanikids was the only team to win 2 awards.

The State of Oregon FIRST LEGO League Robotics tournament is this Saturday and Sunday at Liberty High School, 21945 N.W. Wagon Way in Hillsboro, Ore. The Mechanikids will be participating Saturday, and the community is invited to attend.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an organization whose mission is to “inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.”

FIRST runs multiple robotics competitions, among them FIRST LEGO League for elementary and middle school students. This gives them the chance to gain real-world engineering experience, including brainstorming, following a plan, and efficiency in both the build and software of the robot, according to organizers.

Mechanikids team member Tate Perry has participated for two years.

“To me, my future includes robotic engineering, and the fact that I participated in this tournament and learned more programming skills increases the likelihood of my dreams coming true,” he said.

Said Jordan Hendricks, “Mentoring younger kids by teaching them how to program the robot is one of my favorite parts of the FLL season. All the hard work pays off when your robot does well at the competition. Our team has many things to do to prep for state.”

Team member Caleb Young enjoyed seeing the robot in action at the recent competition.

“My favorite part was watching the robot run because we worked so hard on programming,” he said. “I loved seeing us get first place in Robot Performance. The robot did so good I knew we were going to get first place! “

Team members include Hendricks, Perry, Young, Aria Perry, Luke Miller and Ethan Tobey.

For more information about the state competition, browse www.ortop.org/fll/CT2012.html#DCR.

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