District robotics teams compete in FIRST Tech Challenge
Posted on 02/06/2017

Six robotics teams from the McMinnville School District competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament at Oregon State University on Saturday, January 28.  There were two teams from McMinnville High School (MHS) and two each from Duniway and Patton middle schools. 

Both high school teams and one team from Patton will advance to the Super Qualifying Tournament on February 12. The teams competed against 24 other middle and high school teams from around the region.

The Patton team Tehwurlisis won the Motivate award, which is given to the team that exemplifies the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition through team building, team spirit and exhibited enthusiasm. Winning the award automatically qualifies the team for the next round of competition.

The MHS team Blackbird advances for reaching the finals in the tournament with a robot they successfully built, programmed and operated.  

The other MHS team, the McMinnville Mastermind Mechanics, advances to the next level for winning the award for their robot design. The team also won the Inspire Award, which is given to the team that is a role model for other teams and a strong ambassador for FIRST programs by displaying gracious professionalism and is a top contender for other awards.

The high school teams, coached by Dave Larson, include

Blackbird - Katelyn Morain, Kayden Bartley, Lucca Hamina, Caden Hawkins, Laura Denney, Carly Thorkildson, Michael Crain, Jose Flores, Prescott Benner, Zach Reinker

McMinnville Mastermind Mechanics - Kaylani Kam, Nick Payton, Josiah Yuen, Connor Winnen, Jordan Brantner, AJ Brantner, Dylan Hess, Kai Depweg, Ethan Hampton

The Patton teams, coached by Michele Brantner, include

Tehwurlisis - Claire Grasley, Byron Ojua-Nice, Wes Hoff, Tyler Gallinger, Logan Shurts, Jed Perez, Joseph Preston

Gear Thieves - Bryan Blank, Nicholas Nyburg, Jordan Carlson, William Nice, Jacob Carlson, Alyson Hart, Caleb Kramer, Alex Cantrell

The Duniway teams, coached by Nathan Murray, include

Aftershock - James Eitzen, Garrett Gibson, Faith Miller, Chloe Capaner, Scott Winkenweder, Carson Laguatan, Cyrus Scarboro-Ford, Hailie Reesman, Noah Sloan, Mikalyn Freeman, Tom Scholer

Lord of the Gears - Dahlia Garcia Rezendes, Grace Swinth, Ryan Joel, Tyler Thorkldson, Sarina Wood, Chloe Cockerham, Blake Harris, Luke Johnson, Diego Garibay

FIRST Tech Challenge teams (10+ members, grades 7-12) are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. Guided by adult coaches and mentors, students develop STEM skills and practice engineering principles (like keeping an engineering notebook), while realizing the value of hard work, innovation, and sharing ideas. Teams also must raise funds, design and market their team brand, and do community outreach.

The district robotics program is funded by grants from the Oregon Department of Education, Daimler, and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers.