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The trophy from the season opener qualifies the team for the state championship tournament with a chance to compete to go to worlds

One of Molalla High School's robotics teams came home with the tournament champion trophy after the VEX EDR season-opener at Sandy High School on Oct. 28.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Three Molalla High School Robotics teams competed at the VEX EDR season-opener at Sandy High School on Oct. 28.

Molalla has four robotics teams this year: Team 10, OFUDOR, Gracious Professionals and another that hasn't chosen a name yet, which will be known as Team D for the time being. With one robot not ready for competition, three of the teams competed at Sandy High.

After qualifying rounds, the teams were allied with others. Team 10 was chosen to be on one of the top-ranked teams, and ultimately came away with the tournament champion trophy.

"This earns them a spot in the platinum division at the state championship where they can compete for a chance to go to worlds," said Zeb Schweickert, Molalla's coach.

In VEX EDR tournaments, teams of students bring their robots, which they have designed and built themselves, to compete against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. The tournaments provide the chance for students to see how well their robots hold up against other teams'.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - In the Sandy VEX EDR tournament, Molalla students brought their robots, which they designed and built themselves, to compete against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge.

"They go to a competition, you know, they think their robot is so great," Schweickert said. "It does really good here in the classroom, and then they take it down and it's like, oh wait a minute, there's a lot better robots out there."

But when their robots don't compete well, the teams still don't walk away empty-handed. Instead, they come home with ideas about how to improve.

"The whole thing is great because even though it's a competition, everyone loves sharing their ideas," Schweickert said.

"The whole thing is great because even though it's a competition, everyone loves sharing their ideas," Schweickert said. "Everyone loves sharing what they've done and talking about what they've done and explaining it to others. And there really isn't that sense of 'this is my idea, and it's only mine, and you can't have it.' It's very sharing and open."

The next competition takes place at North Marion High School on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to the public.

"If anyone wants to show up and see what it's all about, they're welcome to," Schweickert said.


Kristen Wohlers
Reporter
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