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Dr. Levesque robot team takes first place at regional LEGO event

FRENCHVILLE, Maine — Dr. Levesque Elementary School’s “Never Give Up” team earned the top spot at this year’s First Lego League Challenge Maine State Qualifier, which took place Nov. 11 at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone.

“I am so proud of this special group of kids,” said Maine School Administrative District 33 Superintendent Lisa Bernier.

“Last year our robot earned 30 points total at a competition in Augusta,” she sad in an email on Friday. This year’s team earned almost 94 points on its way to first place.

“They lived up to their name…Never Give Up,” Bernier wrote.

With the win, the Dr. Levesque team is now headed to the Augusta Civic Center on Dec. 9 for the First Lego League State Competition.

Students age 9 to 14 from 80 countries are expected to take part in this year’s Lego robotics competition. The “Hydro Dynamics” theme challenges students to learn about and solve problems related to water, including its transport, use and treatment.

Caribou’s “Aguaroostooks” team came in second place at this year’s regional competition.

Despite only earning a fifth place overall, Fort Kent’s “Hydro Hawks” placed first in the presentation category and fellow Fort Kent team “Pooventers” took the top spot in the the gracious professionalism category.

The Dr. Levesque team is coached by Bernier, who was previously a longtime teacher and principal at the school, and Julie Sanclemente. Sanclemente, who lives in Fort Kent, home schools her children and her two sons are on the team.

Ten teams from Frenchville, Fort Fairfield, Fort Kent, Caribou, Houlton and Island Falls took part in the regional event.

Each team chooses a real-world problem to solve and builds and programs an autonomous robot using Lego’s Mindstorms technology.

Maine Robotics organizes the Lego competitions in Maine. Established in 2004 and based in Orono,​ Maine Robotics is a non-profit group whose mission is to provide Maine youth and teachers with mentored activities within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

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