Lents robot team scores in competition

See how well the tenacious Lents neighborhood’s ‘Metal Beavers’ robotics team, based in outer East Portland, did this year …

In the Lake Oswego High gym, the FIRST Robotics Competition Oregon regional games took place, featuring teams from both Franklin High – formerly the home of the “Metal Beavers” and Cleveland High.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Few Portland high schools had teams who qualified for the FIRST Robotics Competition Oregon regional games this season, which were held once again at Lake Oswego High School on March 29-30.

But two teams – FIRST Team 1432, the “Metal Beavers”, formerly affiliated with Franklin High School before they were cast out in 2010 and found a home at the Lents Knights of Pythias Ivanhoe Lodge, and Cleveland High’s FIRST Robotic Team 2733, the “Pigmice” – proudly participated in the competition again this year.

The FIRST Robotics Competition program, calling itself “A Celebration of Space, Innovation & STEM Inspiration”, is presented by Oregon Robotics Tournament Outreach Program (ORTOP).

Although he manages the robotics competition statewide, ORTOP Executive Director David Perry says he has a special place in his heart for our local teams.

“This is the last district event here in Oregon; and, after today, and the teams are ranked, and the top teams will go to the championships in Olympia, Washington,” said ORTOP Executive Director David Perry.

In January every year, each high school robotics team is challenged to build a robot that will fulfill the mission of a story line; this year’s competition was called “Deep Space”, Perry explained. The object was for robot remote-control operators to cross an alien planet (the playing field), gather “cargo”, and load it onto space ships, all within less than three minutes.

“In addition to giving students the opportunity to learn math, scientific, technical, and business skills, this program connects young people with the local business and tech community, who support the program,” Perry said. “Both the Metal Beavers and Pigmice teams made strong robot entries this year.”

“Metal Beavers” compete well
“I’ve been really happy to see the ‘Metal Beavers’ with a real solid robot,” Perry commented. “As a Lents neighborhood native, I love seeing them doing well – as their team is growing, and continues to have great mentors.”

In their pit, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1432, the “Metal Beavers” crew members – J.R. Surban, Jacob Purvis, Nathaniel Lyons, and Ammon Corpron – get ready for another match.

It the pit area, FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1432 “Metal Beavers” were reading their robot for competition.

“We’ve done pretty well up until now,” remarked J.R. Surban, now a senior at Franklin High School, as well as their team captain, driving coach. and part of the mechanical team.

“My personal goals are to help develop our team members by sharing what I’ve learned with those with less experience, helping them learn both the technical aspects of robots, and the strategies needed to do well in competition,” Surban said.

Driving and operating the robot are Metal Beavers team members Jacob Purvis and Nathaniel Lyons.

The a team technician and player, Ammon Corpron, a student at the First Class Clackamas Teens school, added, “Even if we lose, we have good teamwork opportunities. A lot of being in these competitions is learning to become graciously professional, while learning how to do better next season!”

Just before time runs out, it drivers maneuver the Metal Beavers robot up and onto the “launch” podium.

In the local competition held earlier in Oregon City, the Metal Beavers ranked #8 out of 36 teams. In Lake Oswego, out of 36 teams, they moved from the #32 rank up to the #21 rank; so they didn’t go on to the Regional Finals in Spokane.

Learn more about the Metal Beavers at their website: CLICK HERE to open it.

Victor Huynh, Hunter Key, Dexter Carpenter, Caleb Eby, Brendan Burkhart with Cleveland High Pigmice FIRST Robotics Competition Team Number 2733 show off their robot.

Pigmice go to Nationals
About Cleveland High’s team, ORTOP’s Perry said, “I have a special place in my heart for the Pigmice, too; I was working at OMSI in 2006, the year that Pigmice swept FIRST Lego League World Championships in Houston.” At that time they were based at Winterhaven School in the Brooklyn neighborhood.

The Pigmice did accumulate enough points through the season that they qualified for the PNW championships in Spokane, ranking 18 of 36. From there, thanks to the Metal Beavers lending them a robot shipping case, Pigmice headed to Houston for the 2019 FIRST Championships, April 17-20, being ranked 37th out of 66 teams after one day of qualifications.

Find keep in touch with Pigmice via their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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