Aye, robot: Pleasant Hill team heads to state competition

PLEASANT HILL, Ore. - Meet Grommet, the creation of the students on the Pleasant Hill Robotics Team.

The team, all ages 12 to 15, are taking part in the First Tech Challenge, an afterschool program.

"It's just been amazing to me to go from building little Lego robots to a huge metal robot that can do a bunch of things," said Ben Hogervorst.

After winning two regional competitions this year, the team now heads to Portland to face 49 other teams from across Oregon.

"This is so cool," said Hannah Gibson, who said the experience makes her want to pursue studies in engineering someday. "I didn't expect to come this far. I'm completely new to all of this, so it's a big difference. I thought we wouldn't be able to build such a big robot in such a short timespan."

The team that brings home the statewide trophy heads next to Sacremento for a national championship.

"We're very competitive," said Rick Faber, the team's mentor and coach. "We don't necessarily play to win. The idea is that everybody can win, and it's an exciting atmosphere."