Students Invited to Join FTC Team

One of the FIRST TEchChallenge teams in The Dalles is looking for more students to join! This is a great opportunity. Here are details:

Space available for 4-H Junior High and High School Robotics Program: Be a part of a team that designs, builds, and programs a robot. Students grades 7-12 can build a metal robot controlled via wireless devices. This year’s challenge is a fast-paced game involving launching objects called Velocity Vortex. Wasco County 4-H offers the class Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm at Wahtonka Community School. The class is open to online and homeschool students. No cost. Contact Lu Seapy at

High School Robotics Students Motivate Region

Thanks to Lu Seapy for this guest post!

Local robotics students kicked off an exciting FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) game release party and provided technical training to over 85 individuals on Saturday, September 10 at The Dalles High School. Students from 18 different robotics teams traveled from as far away as Pendleton/ Pilot Rock to attend the event which featured the international release of the 2016-2017 Velocity Vortex FTC Game and specialized training sessions led by students. Continue reading

How Do I Get My Student Involved in Robotics?

Ah, a new school year and a new crop of students just itching to get their hands on a robot! How do you help your student find their way to a ‘bot?

One of the easiest and most common ways is to get involved with FIRST robotics. FIRST is similar to sports where students meet as teams over several months to prepare for a competition. Which FIRST program you sign up for depends on the age of your student:

  • Junior FIRST LEGO League (JFLL) is for ages 6 to 9
  • FIRST LEGO League (FLL) is for ages 9 to 14
  • FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is for ages 12 to 18
  • FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC) is for ages 14 to 18

Your first step? Contact your school to ask if they have a team or check our list of past participating schools to see if they might. Teams generally form as soon as school gets started to prepare for competitions in the winter. If the answer is no, give us a call (Jessica: 541-296-2266), to talk about resources to support forming a team. The Gorge Tech Alliance has free robots and laptops for loan and can point you towards grants, training resources and mentors to support you. Let us know how we can help!

Great, Free Summer Workshops for Educators

Looking for free, hands-on, valuable summer CTE/STEM professional development opportunities? Check out SuperQuest, a highly collaborative technology training series designed specifically for K-12 teachers by K-12 and Community College teachers. Their goal is to empower educators with the skills and classroom tools to build hands-on technology learning directly into their classrooms and/or after-school activities. Classes are offered throughout the state, all summer long. Find out more including locations and dates here.