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Welcome Aboard!

In June, the Scalawags opened the doors of their shop to the community and prospective crew members. We were thrilled to have a good showing – including to alumni who dropped in to see what we’ve been up to! It was extra special to see those who have moved from the team to the “real world” talking with students thinking of joining us.

While our guests milled around and talked to everyone, we were still working on our swerve drive construction, writing code for that drive, and driving our 2022 ‘bot, Amelia. If you missed the open house, but would like to see what we’re all about, stop in and see us some time. We work most Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8 in our shop in the 700s building at the back of the LHS campus.

Salem Competition

If you haven’t heard already, the Scalawags are kind of a big deal! We had an incredible journey at our most recent competition in Salem! The robot was solid and the drive team was consistent, but bad luck in alliance partners seemed to plague us. We went into alliance selection ranked 26th our of 28 teams.

However, Third Alliance Captain Team 7034 (TBD out of West Linn) and their partner 4488 (Shockwave) saw something in us and asked us to join them. Together, we crushed the competition – even after a shredded belt had us repairing as we wheeled to the field – and came out on top! Our third ever winners’ banner! Don’t be fooled by the photos of the drive team after the final match – those are tears of joy!

In addition, the team picked up a spirit award. The combination of these awards, plus our imagery award and role as Eighth Alliance Captain in Wilsonville propelled us to District Championship in Cheney, WA this week.

The team has been hard at work, repairing Amelia, preparing some new imagery, and practicing slurping and shooting balls. We leave Wednesday morning and could not be more excited! If you would like to cheer us on, matches start Thursday, April 7th at 4! You can catch the live stream here.

Wilsonville Was Wild

Last weekend, the Scalawags competed in a full tournament for the first time since March of 2019. It was exhausting, exhilarating, and the most fun anyone here has had in a long time! The team took a robot they had barely finished (less than 30 minutes of drive time before we left) and turned in some great results. They were out in the quarterfinals, but had scraped their way to captains of the 8th seeded alliance.

Amelia E. Flowers (named for the pilot Amelia Earhart and FIRST founder Woodie Flowers) is a lean, mean, ball shooting machine. She weighs only 95#, but she’s all muscle and grace. Our drive team got comfortable with her quickly and found that she shoots well, and she climbs every time they ask her to. Like any event, there were challenges – broken brackets, controller connection issues, and complete exhaustion – but the team pulled together and supported one another in amazing fashion. Most of the crew had never been to competition before; they figured it out quickly, and made their mentors proud.

In addition to their fine showing on the field, the team was thrilled to receive an Imagery Award. Rapid React was a tricky game to tie to our pirate theme, but the art team really focused on the idea of transportation and moving cargo. They made custom safety vests with our logo, and created a logo for their very own shipping company: FedX marks the spot. The pit was filled with custom cargo and our signature skeleton, Slim.

Our 2022 debut has left us in good shape to qualify for the District Championship in Cheney, WA. Already this week, crew members have been out talking to local sponsors, asking for pledged funds, should we earn a spot in the top 50 teams. If you are interested in helping the team get to Cheney, please contact us at

Building a Better Robot

Ghost Written By Jaunty Jack

We have a complete frame with a ball shooter/climber in progress. We have not been able to test the ball shooter yet because the programmers are still making the code for the shooter and the climber. We have bumpers fitted for the frame but not complete. We have 2 out of 4 done so far. We have been using cad to make the 3d printable objects such as spacers, tube locks, and miniatures for imagery.

Our cad team is working on a model of the climber in inventor so our build team knows what dimensions and what spot to put the climber mechanism on the frame of the robot. We have wheels and are battery box welded together. We have not come up with a name for the robot but we have discussed several Viking names, historical names and a few others. Our imagery team is working on a Super Secret Project for the pit.

We went to a Chamber of Commerce rewards night and helped set the tone for their luau by flying floating fish. Somehow, we’ve even found time for a sponsor visit in the past week! It’s lucky we love talking about robots!

Building a Better Bot

January 8 saw the beginning of our 2022 Build Season. After an almost 2 year hiatus, it feels good to be designing a robot! By the 2 week mark, we had a working prototype of a ball handler, a frame designed in CAD, and some good ideas for a climbing mechanism. We have been graced with help from a couple OSU engineering graduate students, and their advice has been awesome.

The Scalawags at 2022 Kick Off. So exciting to be back at OSU receiving a new challenge with all our FIRST Force friends!
Mo is showing how a climber similar to one we used in 2020 might work with our ball handling prototype.
Paige is measuring twice before cutting once on frame pieces.
Brian helps Jackson get the ball handler into CAD.
Jeff, Emili, and Mo try out a mock up of the frame around the ball handler prototype.
Jo and Paige check out the new power distribution modules the team purchased this year. Much squealing and excitement was shared by all.

Annie’s First outing !!!

Our scrappy pirates traveled to our first competition played with our 2020 robot. Each of our members, new and veteran, got a chance to be on the drive team. Our goal was to get our new members experience with competition and prepared for the coming 2022 season. Some of our highlights:

We made it quarter finals with Wildcats & Flying Hedgehogs(paired teams) and Iron Mustangs!!!

The Scalawags were part of the first triple climb of the day!

We got to talk to new members on other teams and got in touch with some other team presidents.

S’More Scalawags

What is it about planning activities with solar power that brings overcast skies??? Jr Robotics in August was all about building solar ovens for s’mores. So, naturally, it was overcast and misty that day! Even when the team made the world’s largest solar oven the following week… the sun disappeared! Luckily, s’mores are almost as good raw as they are melted!

Many thanks to Conversion Brewing for donating personal pizza boxes to our Jr Robotics lesson!

Paddling through Girl Scout Camp

In early August, the Scalawags were able to complete one of our favorite forms of community service: teaching STEAM lessons to younger kids! We traveled to Girl Scout Day Camp and taught them about the energy stored in rubber bands. Working with about 60 girls in groups of ten, the Scalawags led them in building paddle boats. The best part, of course, was testing the finished product in the water!