Two mid-valley robotics teams came home with medals Saturday following a FIRST Pacific Northwest district qualifying event at Wilsonville High School.

Team 1359, the Scalawags, was part of the three-team alliance that won first place. The team is made up of students from Lebanon High School.

Team 957, SWARM, was part of the three-team alliance that took second place at the tournament. SWARM stands for South West Albany Robotics Maniacs and is made up of students from South Albany and West Albany high schools.

SWARM was the second of the eight teams to make the finals Saturday and earn the right to choose alliance partners. The team also won the Judges Award for the team's detailed approach to strategy, game playing and programming skills.

Team 957 is currently ranked 10th in the Pacific Northwest Region out of 154 high school teams from Alaska, Washington and Oregon. 

In other results, Team 955, CV Robotics from Crescent Valley High School, won the Entrepreneurship Award. Team 847, PHRED, from Philomath High School, won the Gracious Professionalism Award.

Thirty-seven teams in all from the northwest region competed in the two-day tournament March 9 and 10. 

Lebanon, Albany, Philomath and Corvallis teams also will compete at the next district qualifying event, March 30 and 31 at Lake Oswego High School. Placing and awards there, combined with results from Wilsonville, will determine rankings going into the Pacific Northwest Regional Championships, to be held April 4-7 in Portland.

FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. It's an international youth organization that operates competitions in robotics, Lego robotics and other technology challenges.

Teams have six weeks from the start of the season to build a robot that will meet that year's challenge. At competitions, they form alliances of three teams each and battle other alliances for points during timed competitions.

All FIRST teams around the world received their challenge for the year on Jan. 6. This year's theme is "Power Up," a nod to classic video games, and involves collecting and placing "power cubes" for points.

More information on the Wilsonville tournament, along with a full awards list and team rankings, can be found online at

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