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West Linn-Wilsonville School Distirct's Error Code Xero eager for more success in 2019

Editor's note: This story has been updated from its original version.

HOLLY BARTHOLOMEW - A sub team of students begins work on Error Code Xeros robot for the 2019 season. The 40 members of Error Code Xero are divided into several sub teams with a specific focus to help the team succeed. Wilsonville Robotics Team 1425-Error Code Xero, which consists of students from both West Linn High School and Wilsonville High School, is eager for more of the success it's seen in years past as it gears up for the 2019 competition season.

In the past 15 years, Error Code Xero has gone to the world competition 12 times.

Before they can think about the world competition though, the members of Error Code Xero have to focus on the district qualifying rounds in March. The first qualifying round will be held at WHS March 8-9.

"We've got two qualifying competitions and depending on how we do in those competitions, we can move on to the district championships and then if we do well there, we can go to worlds," Helene Brehl, the marketing student lead for the Wilsonville team, explained.HOLLY BARTHOLOMEW - Error Code Xeros 2018 robot finished the season ranked 18th in the world.

Over the past few years, Error Code Xero hasn't had a whole lot to worry about at district qualifiers. The team finished first in four of the past six qualifying rounds.

In order to succeed in competition, Error Code Xero and every other team competing in FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), must build and program a robot and then use that robot to complete different tasks to earn points.

This year's game is "Destination: Deep Space," so teams must use their robot to place hatch panels on their rockets and cargo ship, and load cargo (large balls) into the rocket and cargo ship.

Teams will have two minutes and thirty seconds to earn as many points as possible. Teams compete in alliances of three, meaning three teams compete together against another alliance of three during each two-and-a-half-minute match.

Teams play 12 matches during regulation, as part of a new alliance each match. Teams that do well each match no matter who they're aligned with rise through the overall rankings.

Before competition begins, teams have six weeks to build their robots.

"After those six weeks, it (the robot) goes into a giant refrigerator bag and it's sealed. We're not allowed to open it until a few days before our competitions," Brehl said. "During that time, we have six hours where we can take things out of the bag, change things on our robot, do what we need to do and then it has to go back in the bag before the competition."

Though the team has only just began work on its 2019 robot, the machine is already well underway.

With only six weeks to build the robot, a lot of hard work goes into making sure everything gets done. Error Code Xero has around 40 team members and about 15 team members putting in countless hours to achieve the success the team has grown accustomed to.

"Heaviest meetings are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I think Tuesdays are the busiest," Brehl said. "We've got Saturday meetings where we meet for about six hours."HOLLY BARTHOLOMEW - Another sub team works on programing for the 2019 robot.

All of the hours of hard work are well worth it to the students on Error Code Xero.

"Robotics is a great experience. You meet a lot of people. You learn how to manage your time better. You learn to manage your group's time," Brehl said. "You work with other people. It's like a job that you love to do that doesn't even feel like work."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the team's results at past competitions.

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