Middle school robotics teams advance at weekend competition
Posted on 02/01/2016
McMinnville School District’s middle school robotics program sent four teams to the FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying tournament at Oregon State University last weekend.  The teams competed against 20 other teams from around Oregon and Idaho, including high school teams, and received multiple awards, including the tournament’s top award. 
Three of the teams advanced to the Super Qualifying tournament, which will be held February 13 in Hillsboro.
Patton’s Team Tehwurlisis and Duniway’s Team Aftershock formed an alliance that also included Lincoln High School.  That alliance won trophies for the first place in the entire tournament.  Aftershock also won the “Inspire Award” for gracious professionalism, engineering design, business and strategic planning, creative design, and innovation.  The Inspire Award grants the team the first slot into the next rounds. 
Lord of the Gears came in 6th place in the qualifying rounds and was the recipient of the “Think Award” for their ability to remove engineering obstacles through creative thinking as documented in their engineering notebook.  The team also qualified for the next round of the tournament. 
Teams and team members include: 
Aftershock (Duniway): Kayden Bartley, Chloe Capener, Michael Crain, James Eitzen, Garrett Gibson, Tyler Hinthorn, Jose Flores, Ryan Martinez, and Faith Miller
Tehwurlisis (Patton) Jordan Brantner, Brendan Brewer, Nick Payton, Ben Sparrow and Connor Whitmore
Lord of the Gears (Duniway):  Laura Denny, Ailie Johnson, Carly Thorkildson, Kaylani Kam, Josiah Yuen, Keegan Brenna, Brendan McKeegan , Ryan Joel  and Caden Hawkens
The Time Lords (Patton):  Bryan Blank, Tyler Gallinger, Mark Hart, Alyson Hart, Byron Nice and Joseph Preston
The teams have been working since September on their robots, as an after-school activity.  McMinnville School District’s FIRST Tech Challenge program is funded by state and federal grants.