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.

Submersible Robotics Teams Compete in Oregon Regional Championship

(Thanks to Lu Seapy for contributing this post!)

Two robotics teams from The Dalles placed within the top ten of their divisions at the  Oregon MATE (Marine Advancement for Technology in Education) Regional Competition April 29. The teams, ROV Sharks and Stardust Overload, are made up of ten students from Wasco County 4-H Robotics program at The Dalles Middle School. They competed against 42 other teams from across the state.

The ROV Sharks placed 7th in the Navigator (intermediate) division. The team was led by Chase Sam with students Caleb Parsons, Justin Wilkerson, Dannelly Dominguez, Trenton Schacher, and Asher Young and competed against 14 other teams. Continue reading