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THS Robotics Teams Advance to State

Congratulations to two Thurston High robotics teams - Phalanx and Player 1 - for qualifying for FIRST Tech Challenge's State Tournament, which will take place on Feb. 27-28 at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland. Fourty-four of the state's 195 participating teams have advanced through the FIRST Tech qualifying rounds.

Phalanx Player1

On the left is the Phalanx team: (l to r) Taylor Bloomquist, Parker Rook, Kolden Stauber, Jabon Hagel and Zack Walker.

On the right is Player 1: (l to r) Spencer Hansen, Justin Garrison, Max Wines, Elijah Carstens, Hunter Scott. Missing: Garett Poncho, Josiah Terrell.

Thurston High School fielded four separate teams this year, mentored by Polly Kohl and Norman Eigner. To learn more about robotics at Thurston, visit the THS Website.
About the competition: The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is one of four different national programs organized by a New Hampshire-based nonprofit called FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science & Technology). FTC is a robotics program for students in grades 7 through 12. In Oregon, FIRST works hand-in-hand with the Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program (ORTEC) to organize Oregon's network of competitions.
FTC teams work with their adult mentors to design and build a robot using a kit of parts, within a common set of rules, that will perform a set of skills during a sophisticated field game. Teams meet regularly through the competition season (September through April) to:
  • Develop problem-solving, organizational and team building skills including development of an engineering documentation notebook, marketing and fundraising
  • Participate in an interactive robot game employing offensive and defensive strategy and team networking
  • Solve complex problems using the Tetrix robotic system and/or Matrix system to navigate autonomously with sensors, manipulate small objects and travel over uneven surfaces
  • Use a sustainable reusable kit of parts with servo motors, multiple controllers, some team-fabricated parts
  • Use a specified programming platform: JAVA using Android Studio and an FTC SDK (Software Development Kit)
  • Custom-fabricate specified parts as needed, incorporate a prototype board and use PTC design software
  • Emulate design elements used in civic and commercial robotic applications.
Teams have the opportunity to advance through local, state and regional competition based on the performance of their robots, but FTC also rewards teams for achievements both on and off the field, including excellence in design, demonstrated team spirit, Gracious Professionalism™and outreach efforts.

Each year, teams receive a new challenge for the robots. (Click here to watch the kick-off video and description for this year's challenge.) The program encourages students with any level of skills to participate. Team members can also apply for college scholarship funds reserved for FIRST team members only.