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Valley teams successfully take on Lego robotics challenge at state tournament

AUGUSTA, Maine — The “Hydro Hawks” of Fort Kent Elementary School took first place in the programming portion of the eighteenth annual Maine First Lego League Championship Tournament held Dec. 9 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Kennebunk’s “Water Those?” team earned the overall first place spot and captured the Champion’s Award at the annual robotics competition and will be invited to Detroit for the FLL World Championship this spring.

Organizers also expect several teams to be invited to the FLL Open Championships in California and Arkansas, also in the spring, although decisions on that have not been finalized.

Although falling short of the top spot, the Fort Kent team puts its programming creativity and skills on display.

“Their hard work and hours of researching and programming their EV3 robot to complete challenges on the playing field payed off,” said team advisor and FKES teacher Kelley Marquis.

The only other St John Valley team to make it to this year’s state tournament, “Never Give up,” from MSAD 33’s Dr. Levesque Elementary School, also did well, making it into the quarterfinals.

“We did not bring home a trophy, but what we learned outweighs a trophy,” SAD 33 Superintendent and team advisor Lisa Bernier said on Tuesday.

Both teams did well in last month’s region FLL event in Limestone, with Dr. Levesque coming in first overall and the “Hydro Hawks” grabbing the Presentation Award.

This year’s state competition featured 60 teams from around the state of Maine, from Fort Kent to Kittery.

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 youths and teachers with mentored activities within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

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