Members of Squires of Katahdin, a rookie FIRST Lego League Challenge team from Wilton are seen with their award at the Maine First Lego League Challenge State Championship held Feb. 3 in Brewer. Submitted photo

WILTON — On Saturday, Feb. 3, the Squires of Katahdin [Team 61864 representing Maine Stream Place, Inc.] competed in the Maine FIRST LEGO League Challenge State Championship in Brewer which is sponsored by Robotics Institute of Maine.

The Squires won champion’s finalist award, finishing in second place for the competition across all categories, according to the institute’s results page.

The champion’s award celebrates a team that embodies the FIRST ® LEGO® League Challenge experience by fully embracing the core values while achieving excellence and innovation in robot performance, robot design, and the innovation project, according to information provided by FIRST Inspires.

In FIRST [For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology] LEGO League Challenge, teams build robots to complete missions associated with that year’s game, complete research on a problem related to the theme, develop a project that addresses the problem and give an oral presentation describing the project.

This year’s theme was Masterpiece. It dealt with the arts and how technology could be used to improve existing practices or in new and creative ways.

The Franklin Journal emailed Maine STREAM Place, Inc. last week to obtain more information about the team.


“This year, the MASTERPIECE Innovation Project was centered around sharing a hobby the team enjoys, and creating an immersive experience that incorporated theater and technology,” Leah O’Brien, secretary, replied Monday, Feb. 12. “The Squires decided their favorite hobby was skiing. To share this with others no matter where they were located, Squires students decided to develop and miniaturize an at-home ski simulator using a treadmill.”

The Squires of Katahdin team was launched this year, and is proud of their accomplishments during this rookie season, O’Brien noted. “With 10 students in total, only one student, Jillian Creznic, had previously been involved with FIRST Lego League,” she wrote.

The Squires team was made up of Blake Allen, Farmington; Silas Hall, Chesterville; Meagan Fletcher, New Vineyard; Jedadiah French, Farmington; Kermit and Declan Clark, Farmington; Jillian and Toby Creznic, Farmington; Drew Robichaud, New Vineyard; Gavin Brackley, Strong; the student mentor, Kayla Brackley, Strong; and the student mascot, Brett Allen, Farmington, O’Brien noted.

The Franklin Journal asked what was learned and some of the challenges faced.

Toby Creznic said, “I learned some coding, teamwork, and how to use tools to do the job.”

“I learned how to work together with my teammates to solve our challenge,” Jillian Creznic noted.


Silas Hall indicated, “I had to make three different robot parts before I found one that worked. Don’t give up!”

“During my mission I had issues while using the linear actuator in many ways,” Gavin Brackley replied. “Some challenges I faced such as programming, so Kermit, my partner, did most of the programming and I did most of the building. I also struggled with coming up with design.”

Kermit Clark stated, “The thing I mostly learned was using Lego and how its robotics worked, assembling it together and solving some of my problems with Lego. The challenge that I faced was, well, getting the bot to finally work, after so many attempts, so many failures. At last one run was the most perfect run I ever had. It was a good experience. I would totally do it again.”

Declan Clark said, “I think this program was very fun. I learned a lot of coding and different things about robots. When I came in, I really didn’t know much about coding robots. I was pretty good at coding beforehand, but I think this taught a lot about coding with robots.

“The most challenging thing about this competition probably would have been doing missions. Sometimes the code would get messed up and it wouldn’t work. When we were at the competition, on our second run we accidentally went too fast and aligned our robot incorrectly, so most of the missions didn’t go as we wanted them to. But on the third run, we did amazing.”

Blake Allen noted, “The hardest part was brainstorming ideas and choosing which ideas to try. I learned we all have different ideas and have to figure out which decisions we will make.”


“A challenge we faced was deciding together which attachments we should use. I learned we need to test all sorts of attachments to see which works best,” Jedidiah French stated.

Meagan Fletcher added, “I really enjoyed learning how to do programming this year. It was something fun that I had never done before.”

Coaches for the Squires were Monica Allen [Lead Coach], Farmington, and Leah O’Brien [Assistant Coach], Wilton. Monica has many years of experience guiding FIRST Lego League Challenge [5th – 8th grade].

“She teaches students to think for themselves as they choose projects, decide which attachments will be used to perform functions on the competition field, and program the robot,” O’Brien wrote. “Students also create all materials needed to explain their creation, and present their robot to the judges.”

Leah O’Brien is new to FIRST Lego League this year.

The Squires are a program of Maine STREAM Place, Inc. and a feeder team for the high school FIRST Robotics Competition program, The Knights of Katahdin.

“The Knights are currently in their second competition season and students work with skilled mentors to design, manufacture and program custom robots that complete missions on a basketball court sized playing field,” O’Brien noted. “Maine STREAM Place is a growing 501(c)(3) non-profit established in 2022 to educate and prepare Maine students for higher STREAM [Science, Technology, Robotics, Education, Arts, and Math] education, or training to work in STREAM jobs.”

For more information about Maine STREAM Place program offerings and availability, subscribe to the newsletter by clicking “contact us” on or find them on Facebook.

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