Middle school robotics teams win at tournament
Posted on 02/24/2015

Robotics teams from Patton and Duniway middle schools competed at a First Tech Challenge robotics tournament this month at Oregon State University. This tournament matches students in grades seven through 12 from around the state.

The Patton Argonauts placed first and two of the other three teams were selected to compete in the finals tournament this spring. The Duniway Purple Thunder team was awarded the prestigious Connect Award for gracious professionalism, community outreach, strategic planning, and community involvement.

"All of the teams had a great day working with other teams, sharing their engineering notebooks, and presenting their robot designs to a panel of judges," said Brian Bixler. After all of the qualifying rounds, the Patton Argonauts and both of the Duniway teams, the Purple Thunder and the Lord of the Gears, were selected to compete in a 12-team playoff.  Sweeping the playoffs with four straight victories, the Patton Argonauts and their alliance partners were crowned tournament champions. They will advance to the Super Qualifying Tournament on February 22 at Evergreen Space Museum. This is the second straight year a McMinnville team has won a qualifying tournament.

The teams were selected to advance to the State Championship on March 7 and 8 at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland. "Both teams are excited about the progress they have made this year, especially considering that so many of our students are new to robotics and competing in a seventh- through 12th-grade league," said David Larson.