ORTOP Newsletter 
January 2017
In this issue:   ORTOP News  |  ORTOP Spotlights  |  Internet News
     ORTOP News
A message from ORTOP's Executive Director

Greetings, friends of ORTOP!

It has been an incredible first month at the helm of this organization we all value so much. Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to judge FIRST® LEGO® League projects, emcee a tournament at Mentor Graphics, attend the first social for FIRST Tech  Challenge/FIRST Robotics Competition at the World of Speed, and connected with many FIRST supporters and participants. Even though I came into this position with some FIRST experience, I still never cease to be amazed at the gracious professionalism of the kids and the dedication of our volunteers.

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David Perry, ORTOP Executive Director

FIRST® LEGO® League - message from ORTOP: "Volunteers needed."
This year our volunteers helped our teams ROAR into  ANIMAL  ALLIES at 23 qualifying tournaments around Oregon during December. 

Donors Recognized

ORTOP would like to thank those who made donations during our Giving Tuesday and December giving campaigns.

FIRST® LEGO® League sponsors appreciation

ORTOP would like to thank the many groups and organization that have made the 2016-17 FIRST LEGO League events possible.

ORTOP Grant Program 

ORTOP is focused on developing grants to increase its capacity to support more underserved children in Oregon’s FIRST® programs. Capacity is needed to support volunteer coordination as well as additional tournaments and Expos before taking on additional teams.

< This is not a robot

      ORTOP Spotlights

Consider taking a little time to volunteer at an event in January or February.

While there are plenty of roles that an individual can sign up for, some of the key roles are as judges, referees, and inspectors. What kind of individual does it take to fulfill such roles?

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FIRST ®  alumni

ORTOP have reached out to a number of former coaches and team members to find out where those team members are today and the impact that FIRST robotics programs has had on their lives.

Rockwell Collins’ Gregg Walt on  FIRST ®

Rockwell Collins has been a long time supporter of FIRST and ORTOP. Gregg Walt, Senior Director of Rockwell Collins'  Head-up Guidance Systems: "The thing I find most attractive about the FIRST program is how well it integrates science and technology with fun!"

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FIRST®  night at the Winterhawks 

ORTOP provided 609 ticket-vouchers to FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO ® League, and FIRST Tech Challenge teams to see the Portland Winterhawks hockey team play the Tri-City Americans on December 28, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

It was a fun, exciting night. We also discovered that not all sports emphasize Gracious Professionalism.

FIRST® Robotics Competition Kick-off 
January 7

Opening ceremonies start at 7am, with the game reveal at 7:30am, at three sites in Oregon.

University of Portland

Oregon State University

Klamath Falls

FIRST® Tech Challenge league and non-league qualifying tournaments

The FIRST Tech Challenge Oregon program heads into the second phase of the 2016-2017 Velocity Vortex season. Having faced a polar vortex that postponed several League Meets until early January because of inclement weather, teams are now looking forward to upcoming qualifying events.

Oregon volunteers

Volunteers make Oregon's FIRST®  programs some of the best in the country.

Number of volunteers across all programs during the season: 4,700+
Students participating (2016-17): 8,000+
Number of teams:  FIRST LEGO ®   League - 450, FIRST Tech Challenge - 202, FIRST Robotics Competition - 50
Number of tournaments in 2016-17 (total for all programs): 40


Anshuman Radhakrishnan 

Last years' FIRST® Tech Challenge National Dean’s List Winner, Anshuman is 17 years old and a senior at Westview High School. He’s a quiet leader of his FIRST® Tech Challenge team Batteries in Black. He leads by example, acting as a role model to team members, while also mentoring new team members. He has worked to make his team a consistent winner, advancing to the FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship every year since the team’s formation - five years in a row.

FIRST®  LEGO® League qualifying tournaments - report by Terry Hamm

On the first two weekends in December, twenty-four  FIRST LEGO League Qualifying Tournaments (QTs) were held throughout Oregon, from La Grande in eastern Oregon, to Grants Pass, to Bend, and 11 other locations including The Dalles, McMinnville, and Myrtle Creek.  

FIRST®  Tech Challenge league results

World of Speed team social

On December 9, ORTOP hosted the first ever social for  FIRST® Tech Challenge/ FIRST Robotics Competition teams at the World of Speed.

FIRST® Robotics Competition - BunnyBots 2016

Delayed to December 30, from December 17, due to inclimate weather, Bunny Bots saw the participation of 24 teams at Catlin Gabel School in Portland. 

FIRST® LEGO® League qualifiers

During December 3-4 and 10-11, twenty-four qualifying tournaments were held across Oregon.

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

     Internet News

Work, play and STEM

As advancements to how we approach STEM education and initiatives are on the rise around science, engineering and mathematics, we’re seeing a greater impact on how we recognize children’s development and understanding of now-vital tech skills, robotics will continue to play an important role.

Read more

What does a robotics engineer do?

A robotics engineer is a behind-the-scenes designer, who is responsible for creating robots and robotic systems that are able to perform duties that humans are either unable or prefer not to complete. Through their creations, a robotics engineer helps to make jobs safer, easier, and more efficient, particularly in the manufacturing industry.

Read more

Ping pong playing robot

 See video

Artificial Intelligence in robotic toys

Recruiting High School Women into Computing Classes

How do young people choose careers? The factors that affect their choices include: interest, confidence that they can succeed in this career, feeling like they belong with others in this occupation, and identifying themselves as this "type of person", e.g., a "computing person."

Read more

FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff
FIRST LEGO League Championships
FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournaments 
FIRST  Tech Challenge League Qualifiers

FIRST  Tech Challenge Super Qualifiers
FIRST  Tech Challenge Championship

FIRST  Robotics Competition District Tournaments

FIRST  Robotics Competition Pacific Northwest District Championship
FIRST World Championship

March - July 
FIRST  LEGO League Junior Expos
How you can become involved

   At a tournament
   At an outreach event
   Become the one to open the door and inspire young minds to be involved in STEM
   Help fund these amazing programs 

Seeking articles - H elp m ake FIRST® Loud!

If you have a story or information that you feel would be of interest our readers, consider submitting it. For more information, see  writer’s guidelines

The newsletter is published the first week of each month.

Allyn Vannoy, Editor  
Terry Hamm, Assistant Editor
Williane Tenca, Assistant Editor 

A brief update on the ORTOP newsletter 

Results of December newsletter. The newsletter was emailed to 4,748 contacts, resulting in an open rate of 31.3% (1,473). According to Constant Contact, an open rate of 18% is average. The ‘opens’ were distributed 65% to desktops and 35% to mobile devices.

Allyn Vannoy, Editor

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