Update: I’ve added the official press release below.
The High Desert Droids, also known as FIRST Robotics Competition Team 753, is a team of high school-aged students that designs and builds a robot every year to participate in state- and national-level competitions. Here’s their “about us” description:
FIRST Robotics Team 753, known as the High Desert Droids, has been bringing engineering and science opportunities to our local youth since 2002. We are thrilled to have both home-schooled and traditional students from Mountain View, Bend High, Summit, Ridgeview, and Redmond Proficiency Academy as members of our team. The rival high schools collaborate to build one team robot that will compete with other groups from around the globe.
My kids joined the team this year, and it has been a great experience for them, not only learning the ins and outs of designing and building a robot and other engineering tasks as well as teamwork, fundraising, organizational skills, and more, but also because this year (for the first time in a number of years) the team has performed so well at the two tournaments they went to that they are most likely going to be invited to attend the PNW regional competition in Portland (taking place April 6-9)!
The team is supported by the school (Mountain View High School, where they are based) but also by sponsorships and donations. The current budget allowed for the two competition tournaments they attended, but they need to do additional fundraising to help support this trip to Portland. (There is a national level competition in St. Louis two weeks after Portland—but one thing at a time!)
It’s a good cause for a great group of kids, and it’s pretty amazing to watch these robot competitions. Over this past weekend Zolo Media posted a story about them, and you can view an actual match from the weekend on YouTube:
(They are robot 753.)
If you’re interested in sponsoring the team as an individual or business, fill out the sponsorship form here. If you’d rather donate directly, you can send checks payable to “MVHS Robotics” to:
Mountain View High School
Attn: Robotics Team
2755 NE 27th St.
Bend, OR 97701
If you can donate that would be awesome; if you can’t, pass the word along and let’s see if we can get some money raised for the team!
The official press release:
Local high school robotics team High Desert Droids has earned a berth at the upcoming FIRST Robotics Competition PNW Championship tournament, April 6-9th in Portland, OR. Eligibility to compete at this event was based on their performance at qualifying tournaments held in Wilsonville, OR and Philomath, OR earlier this spring.
The team is also a bright prospect to qualify to compete at the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis, MO in late April. Their performance at the District Championship event will determine eligibility to compete at “Worlds”.
The High Desert Droids’ robot, “τ=Iα” (pronounced, “Tia”), was designed, built, and programmed over the course of six weeks this winter to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition game, “FIRST Stronghold”. The robot is capable of scoring balls into a goal as well as crossing medieval-themed barriers including a drawbridge, portcullis, and a (dry) moat.
The team is seeking community support for travel to the tournament in Portland. If you wish to support fundraising efforts, please visit the teams website, http://www.team753.com for more information.
Wilsonville Tournament: Ranked 13th after qualifying matches, first pick for 6th seed finals alliance, Quarter-finalists, and winner of the Xerox Creativity Award (given to acknowledge the team’s unique approach to robot design and game play).
Philomath Tournament: Ranked 6th after qualifying matches, 5th seed finals alliance captain, Semi-finalists (upset the 4th seed alliance in the Quarter-finals), and winner of the Judges Award (a discretionary award, which was given to acknowledge the team’s commitment to sharing their passion for STEM with the youth of Central Oregon). Highlights of the event can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zdw6SOZ_CUw
Currently the High Desert Droids are ranked 26th in the Pacific Northwest District.
Who Are We? Seven-Five-Three!
FIRST Team 753 (High Desert Droids) is a student–driven team of bright individuals drawn together by a passion for working as a team, building robots, and fostering excitement in science and technology through FIRST. Formed in 2002, the team is based out of Mountain View High School and is comprised of students ages 14 and older from across Central Oregon.
About the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)
“The varsity Sport for the Mind,” FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer and professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. For more information, visit the FIRST website (http://www.usfirst.org/).