Palouse Area FIRST Robotics team win awards
SciBorgs finalists at Clackamas PNW district event
March 16, 2023
PORTLAND - The 4-H Palouse Area For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics team finished second place among 34 other robotics high school teams from Washington and Oregon at Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences near Portland, Ore., Friday, March 3 through March 4.
The SciBorgs also earned the prestigious Engineering Inspiration Award for the district event.
The Palouse Area Robotics Team consists of Carter Casten, of Colfax, the driver; Issac White, of Moscow, the Operator; Caden Perry, of Moscow, the Coach; Kyle Bannister, of Genesee, Technician; and Andrew Kranick, of Colfax, the Human Player.
FIRST is an international youth organization that operates the FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO League Challenge, FIRST LEGO League Explore, FIRST LEGO League Discover, and FIRST Tech Challenge competitions.
Mentor Helena Johnson, explained that the organization reached the Palouse 12 years ago when a few people came together to start it. Janet Schmidt from the 4-H office, and Dave Tharp, of Palouse. Tharp had a niece who was in the first robotics, Johnson stated.
Students from ages 14 through 18 within 500 square miles can join the FIRST Robotics STEM program, including Colfax, Pullman, and Moscow High Schools. The program allows students from the Palouse area the framework to invent, design, build, test, and grow as future leaders. It has four sub teams, Mechanical, which includes CAD design, Electrical, Programming, and Business.
"We have three high school students, plus home-schoolers, and anyone who can drive to Pullman to join the team," Johnson said, noting that Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories has been a big part of the team existing there.
This week the SciBorgs will be going to the Sundome in Yakima. If the team does well at the competition they will go to the PNW District Championships in Cheney in April.
"The Clackamas competition was an amazing opportunity for us to show what our robot can do and share the outreach we do in our community," Laura Harris, Pullman local and team captain said. "I love getting to connect with more teams across the PNW district."
"It's an exciting way to encourage students to get into the stem field," Johnson said, noting that they need to know how to code things, and get a hand up for their career choices.
"What I love about it is that it's all hands on," she added, explaining that students get to see the robot from start to finish. The mentors are there to guide and facilitate the teams.
Events allow students to problem solve between matches, strategize, and scout. The three-on-three competition emphasizes Gracious Professionalism (GP), which means that teams help one another with robot repair, programming, and anything else they need to compete at their optimal level.