The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Robotics teams competed


December 14, 2017

Montana and Lydia during FLL competiton Photo by Joe Blalock.

The Wahkiakum 4-H Robotics Club traveled to Camas to compete in two competitions: Kids ages 9-13 competed in the First Lego League (FLL) Competition and Kids 14-18 competed in the First Tech Challenge (FTC). It was a very busy competition having both teams competing on the same day.

The members on the FLL team are Charlie Pascoe, Evan Odle, Ruth Blalock, Reagen Hoogendoorn, Montana Stephens, Peter Vik, Lydia Blalock, youth coach Ryan McKay-Beach, and Head coach Joe Blalock. Team members Annelise Vik and Ryan Stebbins were unable to attend.

The theme of the games this year was Hydro Dynamics. The Robotics Club took a field trip to the water and sewer plants earlier this year to help educate them on one way humans and water relate. Another meeting was set up later by Peter Vik to talk more with Town of Cathlamet Public Works Director Duncan Cruckshank to get a better understanding on how fluoride is saturated. They presented before judges a possible solution to better saturate fluoride. Three presentations before judges were given before lunch time.

The robot games started after lunch. They ran their robots three different times. In a window of 2.5 minutes, they had to accomplish as many tasks on the game board as possible. Each task is worth a number of points if completed and the best run out of the three counts as your score. Over the course of the day the kids learned valuable life lessons: team work, encouragement, coming up with new solutions when things don't happen like they expected.

When asked what our kids thought of the competition, several of them said, "It was a lot of fun!" All the teams come to the competition using the same robot kits but no two robots end up looking the same. Reagen liked this aspect of the games; seeing what other teams came up with to do the same tasks her team had to accomplish.

The members on the FTC team are Chuckie Barton, Morgan Bashore, Damaris Blalock, and Head Coach Ron Wright. Team members Camille Kolditz, and Lydia Blalock were unable to attend. This was their second competition out of three. The next one they are preparing for is December 16 in Tacoma. Their robot has to run 30 seconds in autonomous mode followed by a 2 minute driver controlled period. During both these periods of time they are trying to accomplish tasks for points. One of the major tasks is to stack square blocks into slots on the competition wall.

Both the teams were wearing green t-shirts with the club logo on it made by J and L Ventures in Cathlamet. They were sponsored by Cathlamet Building Material, Ohrberg Excavation, Cathlamet Market, Cathlamet Dental, Wahkiakum Title and Escrow, and Maria's Place.


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