The FIRST LEGO League Western Maine Qualifier was held Saturday in Jay. Members of Smart Fun Engineers, a team from Farmington, watch as their robot climbs a ramp during the table top robot games.

JAY — Weeks of effort by middle school students and their mentors were evident Saturday at the FIRST LEGO League Western Maine Qualifier.

Smart Fun Engineers from Smart Fun Learning Adventures in Farmington and Veazie Vikings Robotics from Veazie Community School took first and second place, respectively, for robot performance.

The Farmington team also won the Champion’s Award, while The Ice Breakers, a home-schooled team from South Paris, was runner-up for that award.

In FIRST LEGO League, students ages 6 through 14 designed, built and programmed Lego Mindstorm robots to compete on a 4- by 8-foot table. During the table top games, students had 2.5 minutes to accomplish a set of pre-determined missions. Each mission had different point values with 320 being the highest score possible.

Eight tables were set up for the robot games. Each team competed in three matches with their combined scores determining the final placings.

The Smart Fun Engineers scored 285 points in the first match. In their last match, they earned all 320 points.

Veazie Vikings Robotics scored highest in their first round with 245. Silent Bot Deadly, a team from Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay was next with 240 while Metromancers, a team from Waterville had a high score of 235.

FIRST LEGO League challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. There is also an innovation project competition involving a five-minute presentation on a related issue.

The theme this year was City Shapers. For the innovation project teams researched a problem involving a building or public space, then developed an innovative solution.

Taking first place for their innovation project was Just the Incredible 6, another Spruce Mountain team, while the Excelerators from Winslow took second.

The Presponders from Waterville Junior High School won first place in core values. Space Savers from Spruce Mountain placed second.

Shape Shifters, a family/community team from Poland won first place for robot design. Gnarly Narwahls, a team from Vinalhaven took second.

The judges award went to Lego Legends, a family/community team from Brewer.

The Gilboe family of Jay won the volunteers award. Siblings Austin and Baylee Gilboe are alumni of Spruce Mountain Area Robotics Team 3930, which hosted the qualifier. SMART has hosted the qualifier for all five years it has been held. They and their parents Melany and Ron are among the more than 70 volunteers needed to run the event.

Qualifiers were also held last Saturday in southern and northern Maine. Teams chosen from the qualifiers will compete Dec. 14 at the state competition in Augusta.

At the FIRST LEGO League Western Maine Qualifier on Saturday in Jay, members of Error 404, a team from Lewiston Middle School, react during the robot table top games.

Members of Playground Inspectors, a team from Albert S. Hall School in Waterville, react Saturday during a robot match at the FIRST LEGO League Western Maine Qualifier in Jay.


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