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Students Create Robots for Competition

robot competitionWHITE CITY, Ore. — Dozens of students from across Oregon got a chance to put their engineering skills to the test, in southern Oregon’s first school robotics competition.

Nine schools took part in the event, fielding 17 teams, including groups from Mazama, Phoenix, Grants Pass, Ashland, and Lost River.

Middle school and high school students designed robots that could move and pick up objects, then went head-to-head to see which machines could best collect colored balls and deposit them into a goal.

It was the first year schools in the Rogue Valley hosted a competition. Similar events have been held in the Portland area.

Organizers said the competition helps get those students excited about finding ways to use science in the real world.

“They’re using science and physics, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Steve Schilling, Technical Education Coordinator for the Southern Oregon Education Service District. “And it’s a chance to engage in some higher academic rigor, but also hands-on, and they get to come and have fun.”

Teams from Medford schools did not attend the competition. Organizers said they believe it may have been because of the ongoing teachers strike in the Medford School District, but said they did not know the specific details of the teams’ absence.