Members of the Oregon Science Club showed off some serious spuds skills last month, placing third at the Regional Underwater Robotics Competition in Richland Center March 5.

The team’s remote operated vehicle “Underwater Potato” was built and driven by Oregon High School students Blake Pankratz, Odin Beck and Riley Fahey; one of three teams from OHS.

Sophomore Carter Johnston said students enjoyed building and operating their ROVs but the competition was challenging.

“The robot had to be made correctly, and then the driver had to control the movements all while being under pressure of the clock,” he wrote in an email to the Observer.

There are three parts to the competition: an obstacle course modeled after waterway debris cleanup (this year’s national theme), a raceway and an engineering notebook. Sophomore Odin Beck said he enjoyed building the robots, particularly learning a lot of really cool STEM skills, like soldering.

The Oregon Science Club is organized by sophomore Adam Mikkelson, who is one of the group’s officers, along with Pankratz and Johnston.

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at