To open doors to the worlds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for Oregon’s youth by providing educational opportunities featuring robotics with special emphasis on maximizing the diversity of those participating
To accomplish its mission, ORTOP uses four programs developed and distributed by the FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, an internationally recognized educational foundation. These four programs are FIRST LEGO League Junior, FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition..
ORTOP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation with a volunteer Board of Directors that represents its community, volunteers and sponsors. Hundereds of adult volunteers organize and coach teams each year, while other volunteers put on free workshops for coaches and organize expos and tournaments. These volunteers come from many sources, including sponsors and community partners.
An international non-profit organization called FIRST , located in Manchester, NH, organizes an annual network of robotics tournaments under the names FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Junior. FIRST focuses on promoting science and technology to young people. They have formed a network of robotics tournaments that use 3 unique types of robotics kits. Over the last several years, similar robotics tournaments held in other states and countries have proven to be extremely valuable in inspiring young people's interest in science and technology and preparing them to enter tomorrow's workforce. The teams allow the children to serve in a variety of roles:
- Spirit/Activities Coordinator
- Team Leader
Rather than being a "winner takes all" competition, the tournament provides an exciting opportunity for teams to learn from each other and share their excitement. For example, at FIRST LEGO League tournaments all team members go home with a participation button or medalion. In addition, trophies are awarded in many categories.