ORTOP Newsletter 
March 2017
In this issue:   ORTOP News  |  ORTOP Spotlights  |  Internet News
     ORTOP News
Volunteers Needed!

Upcoming events:
FIRST® Robotics Competition:
      Wilsonville District Tournament; Wilsonville High School, March 9-11
      CAIS District Tournament, Jackson Campus, Oregon City, March 23-25
      Lake Oswego District Tournament, Lake Oswego High School, March 30-April 1

How to sign up to volunteer:
     Go to  https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_Login.aspx  and login or create an account. 
     Select "Apply for an Event"
     Select program "FRC"
     Select a state: "Oregon"
     Search event by Name or Search event by Start Date/End Date: enter event or date. 
     Select an event
     Apply for Role(s), e.g., "Assign Me As Needed".
Repeat the process to apply for additional events.

Message from the Director

We’re at the peak of competition season, with teams of all ages vying for their chance to travel to the world championships in Houston, Texas. FIRST® Robotics Competition teams bagged and tagged their bots, and are getting ready to play the FIRST Steamworks game in the coming weeks. Oregon FIRST Tech Challenge teams competed at the State Championship on the weekend of February 25 and 26, with thirteen teams advancing to the Super Regional in Tacoma, Washington. And the Intel Oregon FIRST LEGO® League State Championships that were re-scheduled from January finally happened March 4-5. 

It’s been a busy few months here at ORTOP, so I want to take the time to thank the people who make it happen. The staff here at ORTOP are some of the most dedicated people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. The volunteers who coach and mentor all season or help make the events run smoothly are amazing. Be sure to thank these amazing individuals when you see them at the next event. 

Congratulations to all the teams who have completed their season, be sure to take time to reflect on all you’ve learned this past year! And good luck to all the teams still competing!

David Perry, ORTOP Executive Director

      ORTOP Spotlights
FIRST ®  Tech Challenge State Championship 

Forty-eight teams participated during the weekend of February 25-26, at Benson High School, Portland. 

Competition was keen. Thirty-two teams were in the running for judged awards; twelve teams were considered for the Inspire Award.

A special thanks to the photographers: Richard Hetzler, ORTOP, and Madelyn B. from C4 Robotics, for providing photos: 

Thirteen teams advanced to the  FIRST Tech Challenge West Super Regional in Tacoma, Washington, to be held on March 10-12.  Teams advancing

Congratulations to all the teams that took part this past season.

Alumni network

ORTOP launched its first ever alumni network in January 2017, that includes the entire pipeline of FIRST® programs! Be a #pipelinepioneer and click below to join the Alumni community! 

Once you sign up, you can connect with other alumni through the Facebook Group, stay updated on college resources, give back by volunteering and more. Eligibility information is in the sign up link.

FIRST® Robotics Competition scrimmage at Corvallis

Thank you to FIRST Force for hosting this event for teams in Oregon and southwest Washington. There were 26 teams who attended to get pre-inspected and take their turn practicing on the mock competition field. Teams took turns practicing shooting into the boiler in both the high and low goals, depositing their gears to the airship for human players to position and hanging their robot on the rope.

Twentysix was the largest number of teams to attend the Scrimmage. There were teams from Umatilla, Ashland and Klamath Falls.  Two rookie teams attended as well. A thanks to our robot inspectors and judges who took the time to let teams practice before the season began!

Good luck to this season's teams!

Debbie Kerr 
Senior Mentor, FIRST Oregon

FIRST® Robotics Competition - STEAMWORKS

March 10, marks the date of the first Oregon district tournament, to be held at Wilsonville High School. Two more district events will be held in the Portland area later in March. With an increase of eight teams from 2015-2016, the Oregon program continues to gather strength.

Events are open to the public. Come and watch the action:

March 10-11 – Wilsonville High School

March 24-25 – Clackamas Academy of Industrial Science

March 30-April 1 – Lake Oswego High School

At each event, doors open at 8am, the action begins at 10am on Saturdays.

JoAnn Halloran, FIRST® Tech Challenge Program Manager attends Super Qualifier Tournaments

JoAnn Halloran (pictured above between Cathy Swider, left, and Loridee Wetzel, right) was able to overcome East Coast weather problems that delayed her flight by a day, to make her way from Manchester, New Hampshire, out to Oregon to attend the FIRST Tech Challenge Super Qualifier Tournaments in Hillsboro, February 11-12.
Oregon FIRST® LEGO® League Championship is finally here

Scheduled for March 4 & 5 at Glencoe High School in Hillsboro, with 113 teams from Oregon and SW Washington participating . Tournaments on both days are open to the public.

FIRST ®  Tech Challenge Oregon State Championship Dean's List

Individuals heading for the World Festival in Houston, Texas, in April (pictured from left to right):
  • Margaux Mae Quady, Team 8372, Trial N' Terror, St. Mary's in Medford
  • Gokul Kolady, Team 7013, Hotwired Robotics, Westview High School in Portland
  • Elizabeth Baily, Team 8176, Steelhead, Hood River Valley High School in Hood River
  • Tyler Walker, Team 4097, The Rookies, Tigard High School in Tigard

FIRST ® LEGO ® League Jr OMSI Expos

On March 18 and 19, FIRST LEGO League Jr teams from around Oregon and SW Washington will showcase their CREATURE CRAZE creations in the OMSI Auditorium.

Jesuit High School student and clean water

Chaitanya Karamchedu, a member of FIRST® Robotics Competition team #2374, Crusaderbots, has done some amazing research.

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

     Internet News

Handle, the 'nightmare-inducing' humanoid robot

Boston Dynamics, the robotics firm owned by Google parent firm Alphabet, has unveiled its latest ‘nightmare inducing’ robot, Handle – a wheeled humanoid that can carry heavy loads, do squats, and even leap over obstacles.

Read more

Makeblocks - program without prior coding ability

Makeblocks’ ‘Neuron’, provides blocks that children can snap together and program to create gadgets. 

Read more
Do robots deserve rights?

Science fiction authors often imagine futures where robots become sentient beings. But, as such a possibility grows nearer, we need to ask ourselves whether or not robots deserve rights.


FIRST®  LEGO ®  League Oregon State Championship, March 4-5

FIRST  Robotics Competition District Tournaments (various dates and locations)

FIRST Tech Challenge West Super Regional, Tacoma, Washington,  March 10-12

FIRST LEGO League Jr OMSI Expos, March 18-19

FIRST  Robotics Competition  Pacific Northwest District Championship, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington, April 6-8

FIRST World Championship, Houston, Texas, April 19-22

FIRST LEGO League Jr Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, May 6

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 - Help make 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 
Registration is Open!

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