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St. Mary's, Rogue River robotics teams advance

The robotics teams from St. Mary's School and River's Edge Academy Charter School in Rogue River are moving up after good showings at last weekend's state-qualifying tournament in Corvallis.

The local teams will join 10 others at the Oregon FIRST Tech Challenge "Super-Qualifier" tournament, to be held in McMinnville and Hillsboro Feb. 21-22. FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

Last weekend's tournament, held at Oregon State University, pitted 24 FIRST Tech Challenge teams from across Oregon against each other. Teams paired up to take on other duos, all with the goal of having their robot creations scoop up plastic balls spread across an arena and deposit as many as possible in receptacles for points.

Teams also were judged on an engineering notebook they were supposed to keep the entire season, community outreach and sponsorship efforts. One of the St. Mary's team sponsors was Matt Heverly, one of the drivers of NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover.