Sixty teams to compete in a state-qualifying home turf event on Saturday, Jan. 15.

COURTESY PHOTO: SANDY ROBOTICS TEAM - Twenty-five students with five robots will compete from Sandy in a tournament on Jan. 15. The Sandy High robotics team is seeking volunteers to judge and referee an upcoming tournament set to take place on the team's home turf.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at 37400 Bell St., 60 teams from all over Oregon and Washington will compete to qualify in the spring state competition. Sandy High's team has 25 students and five robots competing.

"We have had a successful start to the season," said Sandy coach Aron Eslinger. "We have won the excellence award — the highest award given at each event for the best robot at the competition — we have won two design awards, (and we've) had a robot in the final match in three of the four events we have attended."

The state competition is where robots compete to win spots at the World VEX Competition in Dallas Texas. The world competition brings together the top 700 robotic teams (out of 25,000-plus worldwide) from 30-plus different countries to compete for the world title.

"(The Jan. 15 competition) will be the largest one-day event in the state of Oregon," Eslinger explained. "I am excited to see how the robots have evolved since our first event in October. These students make a lot of changes as the year progresses and this event tends to highlight all those changes."

Members of the public are welcome to attend and watch the competition, and also to volunteer as judges and referees. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact Eslinger via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

All competitors, volunteers and spectators must follow safety protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by masking, socially distancing in place and participating in contact tracing.

"We have been very successful in having in-person events and keeping everyone safe," Eslinger said. "Come out and check out the innovations these students have come up with. You will see some amazing robots, talk to some great students and see a program that brings together the thrill of competition, with design concepts and teamwork to create a robot that is successful in the arena.

"I am proud of how the Sandy robotics team has worked together to make a ton of forward progress in all aspects of design work, building concepts and coding, and I am excited to see how many teams we qualify for the state event."

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