Sandy High Robotics Club hosts state competition
More than 80 teams expected at two-day event next weekend
Sandy High Schools Robotics Club is hoping to once again take home a trophy at the upcoming VEX Robotics Competition Oregon State Championship.
The two-day event will be from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, in the schools main gym. It is free.
There are more than 30 students in the schools Robotics Club. Senior Nathan Kentner, 18, joined the club when he was a sophomore and soon became hooked.
I took a class at the high school and thought it was really awesome, he said. And I liked building robots.
Part of the appeal is the chance to always be doing something new, said senior Kodi Lang, 17.
Its continual progress, said Lang. Its always changing.
Bob Tisch, the clubs staff adviser, said the club formed in 2010 and organized the first VEX competition that same year. VEX is the robotics company that sets up the competition and oversees the event, explained Aron Eslinger, the clubs parent organizer.
Sixteen Oregon high school teams attended that first competition. This year, there is the potential for more than 80 teams to bring their robotic creations to compete. Winners from the state tournament will go on to the VEX world tournament. At the 2014 world tournament, SHSs Robotics Club finished fourth out of more than 730 teams.
Competitors on each four-person team have been working on their robots for almost a year, laboring to assemble a device that can perform the actions required for this years event.
The robot must be able to throw a foam ball into a net and perform a lifting maneuver. Team members are also judged on their robotics journal and their coding skills.
As high school competitions go, watching robots whirl, toss and battle to be the best might be a bit unconventional. But thats what makes it fun, Kodi explained.
Its different, she said. Its not like a basketball game.
And its really exciting, too, Tisch said.