Vale robotics team to match skills with world competitors

The Vale High School Robotics team (from left) of Dan Wenger, Japheth Carlson and Marco Ramirez recently claimed an Excellence Award during competition in Salem. Their teammates, Porter McKrola, Jonas Grout, Jacob Maxwell, and Briggs Marvin will move onto the Ved Robotics World Championship Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, in April. (Submitted photo)

VALE – A Vale High School robotics team will journey to Kentucky next month to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship Tournament.

The Viking team of Porter McKrola, Jonas Grout, Jacob Maxwell, and Briggs Marvin qualified for the world competition at the state tournament last weekend at Chemeketa Community College in Salem.

“It is fantastic that we got a team to Worlds,” said Jim Schaffeld, Vale High School Robotics team coach.

The Viking squad entered into the state tournament’s 32-team qualifying bracket for the world competition as the No. 7 team and overcame the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds to advance to the finals. The Vale team placed in the top six of the finals to advance to the Blue Grass state.

At both state and the worlds tourney’s each robotics team must build and design a robot from scratch. Each team, said Schaffeld, begins with what looks like a large erector set that consists of plates, motors, sensors and a central cortex, or brain.

“They have to find out what mechanical advantage they want to use. The focus is to design, build and test using a design process,” said Schaffeld.

Schaffeld said about 500 teams will be at the competition from across the globe. The tournament begins April 25 and runs through April 28 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

Correction: This is the VEX Robotics Competition, not Ved as previously reported.