R2-Blue2 is the mascot for Blue Crew, the robotics team from Mt. Blue High School. R2-D2 was made using a 3-D printer and is a fully functional droid with lights, sound, and motion. Franklin Journal file photo






















FARMINGTON — This summer, look for the Blue Crew team mascot R2–Blue2 to help find the team’s root beer float stand at area festivals.

Blue Crew team members will be in Farmington for Summer Fest on July 26-27, Wilton for the Wilton Blueberry Festival on August 3, Rangeley for the 8th Annual Trail Town Festival on August 31 and Jay for the Apple Pumpkin Festival on September 28.

Blue Crew, a FIRST Robotics Competition team from Mt. Blue High School and Foster Career and Technical Education Center in Farmington, will be selling root beer floats at area events this summer to raise money for its upcoming season. Livermore Falls Advertiser file photo

Senior captain Katherine Holmes said Blue Crew competed in two off–season events in June.

“On June 1 we were in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Our robot had a few complications but we made it to semifinals being an alliance captain and the third seed team. The June 29 event was an all day event at South Portland High School where we competed against local teams. At this event people tried different jobs and incoming freshmen tried their hand at different positions,” she said.

Blue Crew members plan to be in the community as much as possible to spread the word of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) and show people no matter their age how fun and exciting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can be.

Blue Crew is comprised of 15 students from Mt. Blue High School and the Foster Career and Technical Education Center in Farmington. Part of FIRST Robotics Competition, the team is almost entirely self–funded with some support from Foster CTE Center.

FIRST Robotics Competition allows students to explore their strengths and expand their access to education in STEM. In early January a challenge is released then teams have six weeks to design, build and test a robot to complete tasks from the challenge.

Blue Crew team members share information about their robotics program while fundraising at local summer events. Livermore Falls Advertiser file photo

Participating students develop business skills and interact with the community. Blue Crew has demonstrated consistent, reliable high–performance robot performances during competitions.

Unlike most robotics teams, Blue Crew was student–driven. In 2015 a senior at Mt. Blue High School met students from a neighboring school district’s team. That student got other students excited about the program. They developed a budget and convinced a computer technology teacher to be their mentor. Blue Crew has grown annually and looks forward to its fifth year of competition.

The budget for the upcoming competition season is about $30,000 with $8,000 needed for robot parts, $9,000 for registration expenses at competitions and $13,000 for travel. Sponsorships and donations offset some costs, but team fundraising efforts account for the majority.

Blue Crew welcomes questions and provides tours upon request. Team meetings are usually held on Tuesdays during the school year from 5:30–6:30 p.m. During the summer it meets 5:30-6 p.m. Sundays. It meets or builds almost every day throughout the 6 week build period.

For more information about Blue Crew call 578-2202 or email [email protected]



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