FIRST Tech Challenge is an international robotics competition that emphasizes developing practical life skills alongside engineering robots. The two main activities of FTC teams are designing solutions to the annual challenge and engaging in community outreach.
YC’s FTC team is made up of students from grades 7-12, which includes Grace Armstrong, Cristin Brethower, Osian Leahy, Spencer Waechtler, Dominic Harris, Joe Padberg, Matthew Heston, Ethan Wethern, and Morgan Padberg.
This year, the challenge is space-themed and called Rover Ruckus. Their goal for their robot is to mimic activities of a rover that is exploring an unknown planet. Their robot can autonomously descend and detach from the side of a “lander” and visually detect the difference between two types of “minerals” to sample. While controlled by human drivers, it drives around the playing field, placing minerals in the elevated cargo hold on the lander and eventually hanging entirely back onto the lander.
This year at the qualifying tournament, they won the Connect award and 2nd place for the Inspire award, competing against some teams from McMinnville, Gladstone, Portland, and Corvallis. They are moving on to the super-qualifying level and potentially the state championship. This is the second year they’ve made it past qualifying level in their four years as a team.