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64 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2022 Feature Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) is a robotics pro- gram at Oregon's West Linn High School led by computer science and engineering teacher Tim Manes. Barry Matties caught up with Tim and his student team, 2BDetermined, at the FIRST Pacific Northwest District robotics event in Salem, Oregon. e team has excelled at the local and regional levels and was invited to par- ticipate in the national competition in April. Barry Matties: I'm here with Tim Manes at the FIRST district event. How is it going? Tim Manes: It's getting close to the finals. is is the fourth week, a lot of teams have had time to refine their robot, and the competition's get- ting stronger. Matties: You teach at West Linn High School and you're in charge of the school's robotics team. Tell me what that experience is like for you. FIRST: Endorsed by Teachers and Students Alike Manes: Coaching students in robotics is extremely reward- ing. I started as a math teacher and slowly started to build an engineering program dur- ing the day, which grew into FIRST Robotics Competition. Now we have a substantial number of students who are getting experience they wouldn't get in a normal classroom environment. It's very rewarding. Matties: What is the biggest takeaway for stu- dents who are participating in this event or with their FIRST program? Manes: Every student who walks through the classroom door for the first time has never seen a machine. ey've probably never riveted, or used CAD or CAM. So, between the time they first walk through the door, and when they show up at an event, most of these students ROBOTICS TEAM SPECIAL REPORT

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