Robotics Team Scores at State Tournament

Previous Next

This has been a busy year for The Floods, the Woodland Middle School LEGO Robotics team. On December 7th, they competed against thirteen other teams at the qualifying tournament held at Salmon Creek Elementary School in Vancouver. They were awarded first place overall. This allowed the team to enter the Oregon state championship tournament in Hillsboro. At the state tournament, the team tied for second place overall out of the 120 teams entered in the two day event. On January 31st, the team was invited to participate in May at the North American Championships in San Diego.

This year's team members consist of Josiah Anderson, Natalie Biddix, Jaide Bosen, Michael Gabalis, Lee Gilkerson, Blaine Kysar, Brennan Lamoreaux, and Sarah Retter and are coached by Mr. and Mrs. Brown. The Middle School has had a robotics team for nine years, has advanced to the state tournament seven times, and brought home awards from the tournament six times. This year's second place tied their best finish.

The competition consists of four phases: robot game, robot design and programming, research project, and core values. The overarching topic of this year was natural disasters. This year's team studied how to both, better inform residents of imminent flooding, as well as how to shelter them if there is not time to evacuate. They explained that this is relevant to Woodland because of the potential for flash flooding if there were a catastrophic failure of any of the three upstream dams.

The team's innovative solutions included an improved warning system that adds pictures showing maps, escape routes, and safe zones to the cell phone messages that will be sent to people in the flood zone. They also proposed building underground shelters using proposed 3D printer technology. These would protect people who are not able to escape the flooding.