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Local students tops at state robotics contest

Beaverton area will be well-represented in regional contest in late March

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Members of the Batteries in Black won the top prize at Oregon's top student robotics competition.Teams stocked with Beaverton-area students were among the top finishers at last weekend’s statewide robotics competition in Portland.

Batteries in Black, a Washington County 4-H team that includes students from Beaverton and Portland schools, won the competition’s top Inspire Award at the FIRST Tech Challenge Championship Tournament.

Batteries in Black also was the Winning Alliance Captain and placed second for the Think Award.

Hot Wired Robotics, a team whose members attend three Beaverton-area high schools, finished second for the Inspire Award, was a finalist for Alliance Captain honors and won the Rockwell Collins Innovate award.

Other local teams include the Nano Ninjas, an all-girls team whose members are mostly Beaverton-area middle-schoolers, was the first-place finisher for the Think Award.

Gifted Gears, which is affiliated with Access Academy and includes members from the Beaverton area, won the competition’s Control Award.

Based on their state performance, Batteries in Black, Hot Wired Robots, Nano Ninjas, Gifted Gears and 10 other Oregon teams also won invitations to the FTC West Super-Regional Championship in Oakland, Calif. At that competition in late March, top teams from 13 western states will compete.

The state competition, which was organized by the Beaverton-based Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program and held at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland, brought together 44 of the best middle school and high school robotics teams from around Oregon. All of the teams at Benson earned their way into the state competition at earlier tournaments.

Each team has up to 15 students in grades 7 through 12 who start the season in the fall by designing and programming a unique robot to compete during the weekend event, which this year was dubbed “RES-Q” and put robots through actions that simulate a mountain rescue.

Batteries in Black teamed up with SA-BOT-AGE from The Dalles High School and the Klamath Coyotes from Eagle Ridge High School in Klamath Falls to claim the Winning Alliance.

Batteries in Black members live in the northern part of the Beaverton School District and in Northwest Portland and attend Westview, Sunset and School of Science and Technology in the Beaverton School District, Catlin Gabel and Jesuit private high schools in the area and Lincoln High School in Portland.

The members are Anshuman Radhakrishnan (team captain), Jennie Wang, Neal Aditya, Louise Smith, Abhinav Brahmarouthu, Andrew Kokubun, Nikhil Murthy, Daniel Sealand, Siddharth Suri, Sameer Suri and Simon Chow. Krishnan Duraiswami was team coach and Milton Kokubun co-coach.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Hot Wired RoboticsThe Hot Wired Robotics, the team that won the 2014 World Championships, includes students from Westview, Sunset and Jesuit high schools.

They include Justin Bao, Adam Barton, Steven Cen, Prashanth Gopinatth, Varun Gopinatth, Gokul Kolady, Neha Nagabothu, Advaith Nair, Bharath Namboothiry, Robin Tan, Alex Tharappel, Bradley Wang, Elaine Yang, Alex Yao, Rahul Reddy and Pratheek Makineni. The coaches are Kris Kolady and Zhunquin Wang.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Nano NinjasThe Nano Ninjas include many Stoller Middle School students as well as students who attend Meadow Park, International School of Beaverton (ISB) and Valley Catholic middle schools in Beaverton and Hazelbrook Middle School in Tualatin.

Its members include Nandhana Nixon, Namitha Nixon, Shruthi Ananth, Esha Nagul, Rhea Oommen, Ramya Reddy, Rushali Desai, Harini Ganesh, Shamamah Khan, Aishwarya Grandhe, Irene George, Sahana Inteti, Maria Kolattukudy, Navyatha Buddi and Adithi Mahankali. The coach is Nixon Xavier.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Gifted GearsThe Gifted Gears come from all three metro-area counties. Team members who attend Beaverton middle schools are Amy Guo (Cedar Park),  Siddarth Menon (Meadow Park), Arjun Jain (ISB) and Justin Bruss (Stoller), plus Ellie Chang and Makana Burch of Oregon Episcopal School in Raleigh Hills. Members who attend school in Multnomah and Clackamas counties include Breanna Guo, Nancy Wang, Natalie Wang and Aliris Tang. The coach is Ruifeng Guo.