Pleasant Hill robotics team qualifies for national competition

The Pleasant Hill robotics team broke the world record at the regional competition. Now, the team has their sights set on the national competition. (SBG photo)

PLEASANT HILL, Ore. - The top high school robotics team in the state is right here in Lane County. Last month, the robotics team from Pleasant Hill High School won the state competition in Portland.

The team, called Gromit's Grommets, is made up of six students: Dylan Hammond, Ana Borg, Nathan Faber, Gabe Placko, Hannah Gibson, and Tristan Barrett.

They spend several hours each week working on their robot.

"It's fun to say that you made something, programmed it, and designed it from scratch yourself," junior Nathan Faber said. "That's really something valuable."

The team was challenged to build a robot that can complete a series of challenges, like lifting a yoga ball and launching whiffle balls into a target. Each task is assigned a certain number of points.

At the state competition, Gromit's Grommets represented one of the smallest schools there.

"It was pretty nerve-racking," remembered sophomore Dylan Hammond. "We're a smaller school going up against these really big schools and big budget teams."

They beat 200 other teams from around the state, then moved on to the regional competition in Tacoma, Wash. There, they did not win first place, but their score did set a new world record, with 315 points.

"The previous world record was set that same day 20 minutes before at 305," said Barrett.

"We really didn't expect it at all," added Hammond. "We knew we did good but I mean - world record. We were really surprised."

The team did qualify to compete at the national competition in Houston next month. The team needs to raise ten $10,000 to travel there. Here is how you can support them:

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