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St. Mary's robotics team qualifies for state competition

The robotics team from St. Mary's School is headed to state.

The Trial-N-Terror team will join 47 other teams from across the state at the Oregon FIRST Tech Challenge championship tournament Saturday and Sunday, March 7-8, at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland.

For the competition, the team designed and built a robot that could scoop up plastic balls from a playing field and deposit them in containers for points.

Trial-N-Terror won three of its five matches at the recent "super-qualifier" tournament in McMinnville, placing sixth out of 24 teams, according to team adviser Catherine Dauterman. Prior to that, the team had competed in a regional state-qualifying event at Oregon State University.

The team was also one of four statewide to receive the Inspire Award, which is "given to the team that the judges felt truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program. This team serves as an inspiration to what this program, and the young minds involved, can accomplish," according to the Oregon FTC website.

The team will be at Ashland's ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 14, to showcase the students' creations.