HR robotics teams head to world, state competitions

Steelhead FTC robotics team is headed to the World Championships in Houston for the second time. Steelhead members are Cam Amer, freshman, Elizabeth Bailey (captain), senior, Bill Burns (The Dalles High School), senior, Jason Fellows, freshman, Toby Fenner, freshman, Matthew Frost (captain), senior, Grace Guertin, freshman, Eva Jones, sophomore, Claire Powell, junior, Fernando Rodrigez, junior, and Tyler Vassar (TDHS), junior.

Hood River Valley High School Steelhead robotics team 8176 is advancing to the First Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championships in Houston in April.

At the state competition, the team took the third place Inspire Award, third place Promote Award, and third place Motivate Award.

“Our team works very hard on our robot, but we also work on establishing STEM outreach to our community through the annual STEM Fair, the Gorge FAB Lab, FLL mentoring, and summer program camps,” said team member Eva Jones. “We are super excited to compete at the Worlds competition for the second year in a row.”

The team is currently raising $20,000 for the trip at

The Pink Fluffy Unicorns, a seventh-grade team from Wy’east Middle School, is also headed to Houston for the FLL World Championships in April. The team tackled safe irrigation pipe inspection for their project, inventing PORPI — professionally operated robotic pipe inspector — an antonymous robot equipped with a Go Pro camera, light, gyro sensor and counting mechanism, so those going back over the video can pinpoint exactly where a leak is located.

The team is working to streamline its robot, as well as its PORPI prototype, before heading to Worlds. To donate, visit

Hood River Valley High School’s A05, its first FRC — First Robotics Challenge — team competed in the Pacific Northwest District Meet March 23-24 and are planning to attend the Pacific Northwest District Championships in Portland April 4-7. The team has a chance at advancing to the FRC World Championships, also in Houston in April. If this happens, it will be the first time a single school district has sent FLL, FTC and FRC teams to Worlds at the same time, said Jeff Blackman, math/robotics teacher at HRVHS.

A05 team, who were ranked eighth overall, won their quarterfinal event in two rounds, but were defeated in the semifinals by the first ranked Stormbot Alliance. With combined points from two competitions for gameplay and awards, A05 is now in third place in the Pacific Northwest with 98 points.

Hood River neighborhood team Hydro Automations head to the Northwest Championships May 18, held at Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif. The FLL team is made up of siblings and friends in grades 5-8. Their project, “Nutrient Pollution Home Solution,” helps homeowners identify nutrient pollution. To donate, visit

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