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Scappoose robotics team competes in regional competition

School delivers strong second-year performance in robotics contest


by: MARK MILLER - Tribal Tech team captains Robert Ohling, left, and Travis Gardner, right, unload Scappoose High School's robot from a trailer at the school Wednesday, April 9.Some Scappoose High School students have been spending their spare time in a shop behind the school trying to perfect their hand-crafted robot. Their creation was recently unveiled at a series of robotics completions.

Tribal Tech, Scappoose High’s FIRST Robotics team, competed in a regional competition held at Oregon State University last Friday and Saturday. The team spent the school year constructing a robot that can perform certain tasks in order to rack up points and advance through competitions.

This marks Tribal Tech’s second year competing in robotics competitions, and about 20 of the team’s 30 members traveled to Corvallis for the competition.

Prior to the OSU event, the team competed among other schools at a Pacific Northwest District event in Wilsonville, March 20, where Tribal Tech brought home “gracious professionalism” and “most cooperative” trophies.

“Our robot performed pretty well,” said Gregg Kilbourne, the team’s advisor. “One of the big things is scoring in an autonomous mode — getting an exercise ball through a hoop.”

Team members assessed Tribal Tech’s performance in this year’s season as relatively strong.

“We had some bumps, and we overcame them,” said Scappoose High student Cody Downing.

Downing said he hopes to raise more money for Tribal Tech next school year.

Travis Gardner said the students had to figure out fixes for problems with the robot’s brakes and coding, among other issues.

“At one point, our gearbox came apart, and we had to put it all back together,” Gardner said.

The season is over for Tribal Tech — it did not advance to the championships held this week — but team coach Tina Bliss said the robotics club will continue to meet for the remainder of the school year and keep improving for next year’s competition.

Although the team didn’t advance to the championships competition, Kilbourne said Tribal Tech was selected by the eight best teams at the OSU event to compete in the finals round.

Downing said the team’s goal for the rest of the year is to “learn from our mistakes and come to know what we can do better.”