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MailTribune.com
  • ScienceWorks shudders to the roar of robotic dinosaurs

    Southern Oregon Lego League teams show off their robots Saturday at the Ashland museum
  • ASHLAND — If you visit ScienceWorks Saturday and find yourself overwhelmed by the roars of the life-sized, robotic dinosaur exhibit, don't fret. There are helpful little robots nearby.
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  • ASHLAND — If you visit ScienceWorks Saturday and find yourself overwhelmed by the roars of the life-sized, robotic dinosaur exhibit, don't fret. There are helpful little robots nearby.
    Several Southern Oregon Lego League teams will demonstrate their robots from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the museum, 1500 E. Main St., Ashland. There also will be information on the league, which holds competitions with teams across the state.
    The league is part of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, a statewide competition involving the use of robotics to foster creativity and science.
    The teams' visit is paired with ScienceWorks' Prehistoric Predators exhibit, which continues through May 11. Lego robotics demonstrations are included with admission.
    "We're also turning it into an opportunity for people to learn a little bit more about the program in general," said Jamie Kaufman, outreach coordinator for Southern Oregon FIRST Lego League. "It's kind of a little bit for everybody."
    "It's perfect because it (the dinosaurs exhibit) ties into the sensors and the programming that (FIRST) uses," Kaufman said. "Some of it is (FIRST) specific, but some of it is just programming."
    The St. Mary's School Argonauts team, which qualified for the recent state competition and came away with a blue ribbon in the project research division, will be present.
    "(Attendees) could kind of see what the kids here are doing in terms of building and programming and what it's like to be on the team for a year," said Argonauts coach and adviser Kent Dauterman. "It's pretty low-key."
    Teams from Ashland and Klamath Falls also will attend, Kaufman said. Jackson County 4-H students who compete with Sumo bots — robots that battle for victory in a circular arena — also will be present.
    "It's pretty entry-level robotics," said Steve Tarr, 4-H robotics superintendent and club leader.
    Kaufman said a similar demonstration day is being planned for May. Call ScienceWorks at 541-482-6767 for more information.
    Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.
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