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FTC Team 8045: Gromit’s Grommets

The FTC Team 8045: Gromit’s Grommets R&H PHOTOGRAPHY

Whitney Houston once said, ”I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” It’s also been said that technology is the future. When you mix the two, you get the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics Team 8045 from Pleasant Hill High School, a group of eight students with remarkable skills and innovative know-how. With coaching from their Robotics Team Mentor Rick Faber, Team 8045, dubbed ”Gromit’s Grommets” has earned a spot in the FIRST World Championship in Houston, slated for April 18-21.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) inspires students to become technology leaders and innovators while fostering self-confidence and communication skills. To do this, students work together to create a unique robot that performs a variety of tasks in timed competitive events. FIRST promotes ”gracious professionalism,” with an emphasis on learning, creating friendships and having fun.
”Everyone is there to have fun. You make a lot of friends and hopefully, you see them at the different tournaments,” said Ana Borg of Team 8045.
Team 8045 consists of Borg, Kaleb Ames, Nathan Faber, Reece Hardy, Gabe Placko, Dylan Hammond, Eli Kopperud and Tristan Barrett. Since September, they have designed, built and trained for the tournament. Their team was a division finalist at the Oregon State Championship in February, and in March competed at the Western States Super-Regional event in Spokane, which earned them a spot at the World Championship.
This April marks the second year in a row that Team 8045 has advanced to the World Championship. There are 5,000 teams globally, 200 of which are from Oregon. Only 128 teams make it to Houston. Last year, Team 8045 made it to the semifinals.
The competition challenges change annually, featuring both autonomous and driver-controlled portions, with cooperation and strategy being key elements. Students program actions ahead of time and, paired with cameras and sensors, the robot navigates around the play area performing a variety of tasks.
This year’s tournament features an Indiana Jones theme, where students use glyphs, jewels and relics as scoring elements. Two students control the robot simultaneously, but the teams determine programmed functions.
After qualification, the top teams form alliances and proceed to a final elimination bracket. Additionally, a panel of professionals evaluate performances, robot designs, coding and building processes, issuing awards based on these areas.
Community support is important to Team 8045 and their ability to learn, create and compete in events. Through community backing, they have been able to obtain equipment, supplies and a permanent workspace at Pleasant Hill High School. Team 8045 has been self-funded to this point in the season and will send two coaches and eight students to the World Championship in Houston. They acknowledge and thank past and present supporters such as Point S Tire and Auto Service in Creswell, Rockwell Collins, The Eugene Masons Lodge, Hoodoo, PRETEC, KPI-JCI, Oldham Crane and others.
”Local support has been vital to all aspects of the program,” Faber said. Team 8045 has a current goal of raising $9,000, an attainable number if we all come together as a community.
Team 8045 is a group of extraordinary young men and women that has shown creativity, innovation and ambition. For more information, and to support their efforts through donations, visit

Pleasant Hill Education Foundation
P.O. Box 636, Pleasant Hill, OR 97455

Phone: 541-747-6362
Email: [email protected]
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