Provided by Liz Fox, Mentor YAK Attack
Newport High School
How do you make a robot climb a jungle gym and toss frisbees? How do you manage a team of nearly 30 members, half of them rookies? How do you raise $10,000 in 5 months to finance the cost of sending your team to the competition? These are just some of the challenging questions facing the Newport High School robotics team. The team, otherwise known as “YAK Attack” (for Yaquina Applied Kinetics) learned of this year’s challenge on January 5th, at the FIRST Robotics kickoff hosted by Oregon State University. The team, along with thousands of other high school teams across the country will have six weeks to design and build robots for regional competitions. The Portland regional competition will take place in the Memorial Coliseum on March 7th through 9th.
This year’s competition features the “Ultimate Ascent” game, played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to toss the frisbees into scoring slots during each match. Teams are awarded even more points if they are climb up a tower at the end of the match. After numerous matches, a wining alliance emerges and those teams win an invitation to the World Competition in St. Louis in April. The game animation can be viewed by clicking here.
Newport High School robotics team’s first year of competition was 2007, and the team has quadrupled since then. This year’s officers are: Tanner Lovin, President; Ben Capshaw, Chief Engineer; Steven Haller, Secretary; and Tyler Teich, Treasurer. Team sponsors this year include the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Georgia Pacific, Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians, Figaro’s Pizza, and Barrelhead Supply. Students write the grants, run the meetings, and design and build the robot, and receive assistance from NHS staff, team parents, and mentors Bob Maccoone and Damian Manda.
Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST ® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and nearly $15 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) for 9 to 14-year-olds, and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL®) for 6 to 9-year-olds. To learn more about FIRST click here.