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'We're going to take a breather, and then continue working on our robot - as will Vernonia LoggerBots and St. Helens SHREC'

FIRST Robotics, a national nonprofit that hosts competitions and was formed to inspire young people in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), has canceled remaining spring robotics competitions in the Pacific Northwest District on concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease linked to it, COVID-19.

Tim Ohling, coach for Scappoose High School's robotics team, Byte Sized Robotics, announced the competition cancelations in a press release Monday, March 9, in which he also thanked Columbia County businesses and the community for its support of the team.

"We're going to take a breather, and then continue working on our robot – as will Vernonia LoggerBots and St. Helens SHREC – so we can compete when they announce … the new dates," Ohling wrote. "The tentative word is this will probably be next fall."

Per FIRST Robotics' Pacific Northwest District calendar, five competitions remain in the spring season, which was expected to conclude with the Pacific Northwest FIREST District Championship at a tournament starting April 1 in Cheney, Washington.


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