AUGUSTA — On Saturday, December 14, 2019, three teams from Spruce Mountain Middle School were recognized for their achievements at the Maine FIRST LEGO League Championship at the Augusta Civic Center.

“The students worked really hard to qualify for and compete at the Maine FIRST LEGO League Championship,” said advisor and SMMS science teacher Rob Taylor. “They really enjoyed the focus on improving a space used by the community.”

FIRST LEGO League, FLL is sponsored nationally by FIRST Robotics and is run in Maine by the Robotics Institute of Maine. Students designed, constructed, and programmed robots using LEGO EV3 kits to perform missions on a table containing field elements that presented challenges dealing with this year’s theme “City Shaper”. All of the missions on the table dealt with solving problems with public spaces and buildings. Students also had to research a problem with a public space or building and propose an innovative solution to that problem.

Three Spruce Mountain Middle School teams competed at the Maine FIRST LEGO League Competition in Augusta on Dec. 14. ‘Just the Incredible 6’, seen while their robot performs at the table top, won the Global Innovation Award and will continue to work on their project with the Western Maine Play Museum. Submitted photo

Just the Incredible 6, a team consisting of eighth grader Brenden Veillieux and seventh graders Adria McHugh, Aaylah Herrera, Tateum Leclerc, Cecilia Pike, and Skylar Condon, were presented with The Global Innovation Award. The team also finished 10th in the robotic performance portion of the competition.

According to First, “The Global Innovation Award encourages teams to further develop their innovative solutions to real-world problems. It builds upon the work teams have done for the FIRST LEGO League Project. The nominated team is invited to submit their innovation project for consideration to the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award presented by Disney. Teams will be notified in April if they have advanced to one of the 20 semi-finalist teams who will travel to Orlando, Florida for the Award Ceremony at Walt Disney World June 7-9.”

The team’s project evolved over the course of the fall. The innovation project this year required teams to identify a public space or building in their community and develop a creative solution to a problem that exists there. Just the Incredible 6 connected with the Western Maine Play Museum, which just opened in August. The students identified the importance of sanitation in a space like the play museum, where children interact with exhibits and each other on a regular basis.

“The students wanted to see if they could help the museum develop and improve sanitation practices. They looked at what other, similar types of museums were doing and worked to help the play museum examine sanitary practices. They even developed their own recipe for a “kid friendly” hand sanitizer to help kill germs.” said Taylor. “Winning the Global Innovation Award will allow the students to continue and expand this partnership with the Wilton Play Museum as the team moves forward with their project submission. The kids also plan to use their robotics skills to help create an interactive LEGO robotics exhibit for the museum.”

The team Silent Bot Deadly, consisting of Hunter Bibeau, Kasey Burns, Connor Roy, Ethan Egdall, Eugene Atwood, Eli Moffett, and Alex Grimaldi took 11th out of the

Three SMMS teams competed at the Maine FIRST LEGO League Competition in Augusta on Dec. 14. The Silent Bot Deadly team is seen competing at the table. Connor Roy and Alex Grimaldi prep the robot for a mission as teammates Ethan Egdall, Eli Moffet, Hunter Bibeau, Kasey Burns, and Eugene Atwood look on. Submitted photo

28 teams competing in the robotic performance portion of the competition.

Space Savers, a team of sixth graders consisting of Samual Geissinger, Sophia Steward, Jordyn Breton, Trevor Hogan, Mason Labonte, and Brooke Littlefield were recognized with the Core Values Gracious Professionalism Award. According to FIRST, “This award recognizes a team whose members show each other and other teams respect at all times. They recognize that both friendly competition and mutual gain are possible, on and off the playing field.”

Taylor added, “This group of kids really worked as a team and showed they know how to compete, while respecting their teammates and opponents alike. They understand the FIRST core values of teamwork, innovation, inclusion, discovery, and community impact.”

At the Maine FIRST LEGO League Competition in Augusta Dec. 14, the SMMS team Space Savers won the Core Values Gracious Professionalism Award. Team members are seen nervously waiting to see if their robot will stay balanced on the table when the match ends. Also pictured is fellow SMMS Lego Leaguer Blake Gemelli in the yellow LEGO. Submitted photo



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