Ashland High starts FIRST Robotics Team

The first ever Ashland High School FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Team is looking for community mentors and financial support.

The club aims to design, build, and program a robot in only six weeks during the month of January for the FIRST Robotics state competition. The club has received a $6,000 grant from NASA that covers the entrance fees, but is still looking for money to buy parts. They are also looking for community members to help out.

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in competitions designed by Dean Kamen (inventor of the Segway), Woodie Flowers, and a committee of engineers and other professionals.

The club needs to raise at least $2,000 for additional parts, and is still looking for mentors within the community to help assist students with various engineering skills such as welding, programming and computer-aided design. This is the first year the competition has ever been attempted by AHS, and it is the only team in Southern Oregon. Team Captain Max Parker-Shames founded the club as his senior project. Science teacher Jim Lebo serves as the school mentor.

For more information about the FIRST Robotics competition, check out their Web site at To learn more about the AHS Robotics Team, contact Max Parker-Shames at 482-1520 or email

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