Thursday, March 18, 2010

Outstanding FIRST Robotics Competition

The Camas-Washougal FIRST Robotics team took second place at regional competition on March 5-6 at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland. The team is comprised of students from both Camas and Washougal high schools and is sponsored and mentored by many corporations and professionals from the local area.

The Camas-Washougal team placed so well in the competition. In fact, going into the final round, the team was tied for first ranking position. Unfortunately, the other team won the last game and we came in second. Nonetheless, this was a fantastic showing on our team’s part out of 60+ teams.

“I have never attended such a positive and pumped-up display of technical inspiration and energy,” commented mentor Roy Thornley, mechanical engineer. “These kids are the promise and hope of our country’s future and after sharing in this experience, and seeing what these kids can do, I have a new infusion of confidence. “

This is a win-win situation for the schools as FIRST Robotics is an industry-sponsored program. Thanks to tremendous support from organizations like NASA, Autodesk (Inventor of 3D CAD systems), FLIR, Platt Electric, Boeing, US Digital of Vancouver, as well as several other computer and electronics corporations, there is relatively little cost to the district. It is worthy to note that the intense interest these groups have in competitions should be an indicator of the importance industry places on the students that participate.

The team will compete in Seattle next month for another shot at the national competition in Atlanta.

“As one of the top schools in the State of Washington, Camas High School is an ideal venue to promote and nurture this fantastic educational opportunity,” said Thornely. “As a FIRST mentor and the father of a Camas High student, I can’t say enough about the importance of this program,” he added.

Click here for a behind-the-scene look at the competition.