Catlin Gabel Team Wins National Award for Robotics Website

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Press Release

Apr 26, 2005

For Immediate Release

Contact: Nadine Fiedler

503-297-1894, ext. 301

Catlin Gabel Team Wins National Award for Robotics Website

PORTLAND, Ore., April 26, 2005 — The Catlin Gabel robotics team’s web site has won first place at the FIRST national high school robotics championship in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 1,000 teams competed in regional competitions, and 340 robotics teams—more than 9,000 students—competed at the national event.

The robotics team, which was formed in the fall of 2004, also won the "Rookie Inspiration" award at the Pacific Northwest Regional FIRST competition in March, as well as an award for best website. Most of the students in this extracurricular program had never worked with metals, electronics, or pneumatics before the program started. They spent the fall working with volunteer parent and faculty mentors to gain those skills. By the time of the January championship, they were able to machine metal components, build complete circuits, design drive trains and arms, and work together like a well-oiled machine to build their 130-pound robot.

Catlin Gabel sophomore Joe DeBlasio led the school’s web team, hand-coding and building the website from scratch. Other important contributions came from Upper School math teacher Cindy Beals, web project mentor; junior Sam Vogt, who created the site graphics; and sophomore Ken Perrone, who put in significant effort during the site’s formative stages. Other members of the team contributed photography and content to help make Catlin Gabel’s robotics website the top ranked national robotics site in FIRST. Team members also created marketing campaigns, complete with professional-level graphics. The team’s efforts were supported in part by the Henry Lea Hillman, Jr. Foundation and William and Carole Long.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) championship was founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people to participate in science and technology.

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Catlin Gabel School is an independent, coeducational day school dedicated to academic excellence, individualized attention, multiculturalism, and lifelong learning. Situated on a 54-acre wooded campus in Portland, Oregon, Catlin Gabel offers its 700 students an enriched curriculum blending science, math, humanities, the arts, athletics, and a strong sense of community to students in preschool through twelfth grade. The school is fully accredited, and is independently governed by a board of trustees as a nonprofit institution without tax support or religious affiliation. For more about the school, please the web site at