by: PHOTO COURTESY: GHS ROBOTICS - Gladstone High School's robotics team celebrates its completion of a device. The team will again compete against North Clackamas and Oregon City this weekend at Memorial Coliseum.The American educational model of today was, in many respects, developed in the 19th century, when the U.S. saw the need to prepare a workforce for the industrial revolution. The foresight to tie education to workforce was instrumental in powering America to become a world leader by creating a pipeline of employees that in turn created great national prosperity.

Today’s workforce needs are driven by digital, mobile computers, robotics and technology.

Students from Gladstone, the Oregon City School District and North Clackamas’ Sabin-Schellenberg Professional Technical Center understand where the future jobs opportunities lie and are embracing STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Math) studies—by building robots!—to prepare for the future.

At Portland’s Memorial Coliseum on March 8-9, the local robotics teams will meet with more than 60 teams from Oregon & SW Washington in a tournament face-off of six-foot-tall robots playing competitive Frisbee golf. This is a big, bright, vibrant, raucous, exciting event that’s free and open to the public. Come join the fun. Unlike other competitive events where spectators don’t have access to the athletes, at the AutoDesk Oregon FIRST Robotic competition, guests are encouraged to interact directly with these athletes. What better way than robots to get students excited about putting their technology passions and science studies into action?

Education is directly tied to Oregon’s prosperity. Understanding that K-12 is where true workforce development begins, it’s exciting to see Governor Kitzhaber and our elected officials make STEM education a legislative priority this session. Jobs forecasting data indicates there will be over 44,000 computer jobs in Oregon by 2018 that will require a proficiency in computer systems, programming and technical skills. Programs like FIRST help ensure Oregon students will be the ones prepared to fill those jobs.

Please join us March 8-9 at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum to be amazed and entertained by Frisbee golf-playing robots and the students who built them, learn more about this program and motivate your students.

Deb Mumm-Hill

FIRST Pacific NW Director

Gun owners quick to cite their rights

Gun owners and NRA members are always quick to cite their rights under the Second Amendment anytime a gun controversy erupts.

Few would dispute that the Second Amendment gives people the right to own firearms. It doesn’t specify what kind of firearms. At the time our Constitution was written and approved, the only firearms were muzzle-loaders and single-shot pistols. The Founding Fathers could not possibly have imagined the weapons available today.

The only way to describe the situations and problems with firearms in our society today and their relationship to the Second Amendment is that they are “unintended consequences” of the Second Amendment.

Judging by their other actions in the formation of our country, there is no way that the Founding Fathers would have ever intended, or approved of, the gun violence occurring in our country today.

Bruce Hamilton


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