April 2017  
Friends of ORTOP,

I am writing this month to ask for your help on an important project. Since 2011, The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has supported FIRST® teams throughout the state with an investment of just over $1.2 million dollars. These funds have helped make the FIRST programs available in more Oregon schools, reaching nearly 9,000 students. This is less than $150/student invested from state funds, leveraged several times over through corporate donations and in-kind contributions of thousands of volunteers. 

Unfortunately, the state budget of Oregon is facing a massive $1.6B shortfall (The Oregonian, 2/22/2017). As a result, the ODE funding dedicated to FIRST programs is at serious risk of exclusion from the budget for this biennium. We need your help as citizens of Oregon in making the case to our legislators the value of this program. 

Please take a moment to express your support of FIRST programming in Oregon to your legislators. You can write a letter, place a call, or post to their Twitter or Facebook feeds. Tell them who you are and what FIRST means to you. Please contact them before April 21, and be sure to send a copy of your message to ORTOP. Find your legislators at gov.oregonlive.com/legislators. Feel free to contact me with questions or if you require assistance.  Thank you for your support, 

David Perry, ORTOP Executive Director

Stories to share?
Do you know of a  FIRST®  success story? Has their life changed because of their involvement with  FIRST ?  It could be:
  • A middle school student that had a hard time connecting and now is a leader.
  • A high school student that had no desire to be on a robotics team and now embraces it.
  • A college student that is majoring in Engineering or related field because of  FIRST .
  • A successful Engineer, Programmer or Scientist that loves their job and attributes some of their skills and success to  FIRST .
  • A Mentor/Volunteer/Coach that is passionate about  FIRST --  Tell us why.
We are gathering stories to share with our community. This will help with the support required to have more Oregon students involved.

Please send your stories by May 15, to  cindy-lebeau@ortop.org
LEGO® donation
Several car-loads of LEGO items donated to ORTOP.
eBay visit
Members of FIRST® Robotics Competition team 1425, Error Code Xero, visited the offices of eBay on March 29, where they presented to eBay employees. 

Tripwire at STEAMWORKS  
Tripwire's VP for Products,  Dwayne Melancon, addressed the Lake Oswego tournament on Saturday, April 1,  emphasizing the importance of curiosity and teamwork.

STEAMWORKS - results   
During March FIRST® Robotics Competition tournaments were held at Wilsonville High School (March 10-11), CAIS in Oregon City (March 24-25), and Lake Oswego High School (March 31-April 1).

Pacific Northwest District rankings.              

April  District  Championship
FIRST®  Robotics Competition  Pacific Northwest District Championship will be held at Eastern Washington University, in Cheney, Washington, on April 6-8.

The event will include the most Oregon teams advanced to Districts.

State Championship Tournaments  
Postponed due to weather from January 14 and 15, the FIRST® LEGO® League State Championship tournaments were held March 4 and 5, at Glencoe High School in Hillsboro, with 113 teams participating.

Intel Oregon Championship's Award 1st place:
for Saturday: 11687, The Pandroids, Wy'east Middle School, Hood River
for Sunday: 1833, The G.E.A.R.S. (Girls Engineering and Robotics Superstars), West Linn/Tualatin neighborhood team, Tualatin 

Full results:

Attending the North America Open at LEGOLAND, California, will be: 
   6493, Robotek  ExtremeBethany Neighborhood, Portland
   16182, Brainiacs with BluePortland Neighborhood, Portland

Attending the Razorback Open at the University of Arkansas will be:
    6246, Full STEAMWilsonville Neighborhood Team, Wilsonville
   96, Gears In MotionStem4Girls, Portland

Invited to submit their innovative solutions to the ANIMAL ALLIES challenge to the Global Innovation Award sponsored by X-Prize include:
   2242, Bananas to BatsWoodland Middle School, Woodland, WA
   13557, The Meme TeamHood River Middle School, Hood River

Congratulations to all the teams that took part this season.

Next season's theme - Hydro Dynamics
West Super-Regional 
Congratulations to Oregon  FIRST®  Tech Challenge teams advancing from the West Super-Regional tournament held in Tacoma, Washington, March 10-12. 

Teams advancing to the FIRST  Championship in Houston, Texas, April 19-22:
750, Gears in Motion, Tigard High School, Tigard - Lottery Winner
3525, Dynamite Robotics, Banks High School, Banks - Lottery Winner
4855, Batteries in Black , Washington County 4H, Portland - 3rd Place Connect Award & Winning Alliance
7013, Hot Wired , Westview High School, Portland -  2nd Place Innovate Award
7750, Mechanical Maniacs , 4H, Sutherlin - Highest Ranked Team from Cascade Winning Division
8045, Gromit’s Grommets , Pleasant Hill High School, Pleasant Hill - Control Award Winner & Finalist Alliance
8176, Steelhead , Hood River Valley High School, Hood River -  Think Award Winner; 3rd Place Motivate Award
9769, Total Chaos , Total Chaos 4H Club, Portland - Connect Award Winner
10060, Klamath Coyotes , Eagle Ridge High School, Klamath Falls - 3rd Place Innovate Award

Of the 68 US merit-teams advancing to the Championship, seven will be from Oregon. The field of 128 teams at the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship at Houston will be include 68 teams from the FIRST Tech Challenge South and West Super-Regional Championship, 40 lottery teams and 20 International teams. 

3rd Alternate: 9529, Fig Neutrons, Hood River Valley High School, Hood River - Highest Ranked Team from Cascade Winning Division

Member of FIRST Tech Challenge team Trial N' Terror wins auto design award
St. Mary's High Schoo; senior, Delaney Barr, wins national auto design competition. 
World Festival invite
FIRST LEGO League Jr team 8286, Bumblebee Jr, was selected by lottery to attend the World Festival in Houston.

OMSI Expos
On March 18 and 19,  FIRST®  LEGO® League Junior teams from around Oregon and SW Washington showcased their CREATURE CRAZE creations at the OMSI Auditorium in Portland. 

May Expo
Scheduled for Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, in McMinnville, on May 6.

Y our company can benefit by partnering with us!
Contact Cindy Lebeau, Development Director -  cindy-lebeau@ortop.org
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