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The Astoria High School robotics team, the Astoria River Bots, placed third earlier this month at a district competition meet in Wilsonville.

Astoria High School’s first-year robotics team, the Astoria River Bots, placed third earlier this month at the recent For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition district meet in Wilsonville.

The team, including two seniors, two juniors, six sophomores and a freshman, formed in the fall and started building a robot from a basic chassis kit, along with donated parts and a fundraised budget. They designed a robot to move autonomously and lift milk crates onto a scale.

The River Bots joined an alliance with teams from South Eugene High School and Catlin Gabel School in Portland, reaching the semifinals and placing third as a team in the competition. Astoria, which earned the Rookie Inspiration Award, is ranked 12th overall in the Pacific Northwest District, with a chance to compete in the district championships in Portland April 5. Seaside High School’s team, the C.Y.B.O.R.G. Seagulls, is ranked 71st.

River Bots member Zachary Larsen, a junior, credited the team’s adult mentors with helping them build a robot for the first time.

“It’s really about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and our school … there’s not a whole lot of STEM-related classes,” Larsen said. “I feel this robotics team is going to really open the door for future STEM-related activities to arrive at the school.”

The group seeks additional sponsors, and continues to raise money to be able to purchase much-needed parts and equipment. Donations can be mailed to the River Bots Robotics Team, Astoria High School, 1001 W. Marine Drive, Astoria, OR 97103, or dropped off at the school.

For information, call 541-281-7002, email cwilcox@astoriariverbots.org or krandall@astoriariverbots.org, or go to astoriariverbots.org

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