By Pam Harnden, Staff Writer
JAY — SMART Robotics competed last weekend at its first New England District event this year in Reading, Massachusetts.
The competition theme this year is “Steamworks.” The game centers around the imagery of fueling a boiler and placing gears to launch an airship.
Advisor Daniel Lemieux said Saturday’s competition was a day of ups and downs for the team. It began with four losses in a row.
The new drive team, comprised of Sydney Shaffer, Tanna Herlihy, William Brenner, Annabelle Collins, and Melissa Bamford, kept working at it. Improvements to the robot were made by the build and programming teams. In the afternoon, the team won five matches in row.
“Even while losing, the team performed beautifully; they continued to work on solutions and never gave up,” Lemieux said.
On Sunday, the team finished in 21st place after the qualification rounds. It was picked by the 2nd place alliance Team 58. The alliance featured The Riot Crew from South Portland, Maine and Team 1058, PVC Pirates, from Londonderry, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, the alliance lost in the quarterfinals, 1-2, Lemieux said.
SMART finished in 25th place out of 40 teams and won the Entrepreneurship Award, scoring 19 District points.
Lemieux said winning the Entrepreneurship Award was a true team effort. Madison Lecowitch wrote and submitted the application online. Bailey Morrell talked to the judges. The Chairman’s Award team (Camryn Berry, Austin Gilboe, Destiny Daigle, Bryan Riley and Ceilia McDonald) presented the team to the awards judges.
Here is what the Judges had to say about the team at the award ceremony:
“Double their size and growing FIRST Lego League, they make their business boilers run at full steam to find sponsors. This team has an incredible relationship with the entire community including great communication and internships. They directly increased high-level STEM academic offerings at their school. There is also a strong focus to include all abilities and diversity.”
Lemieux thanked parents, families, and mentors for supporting the team all weekend long.
All but five members attended the meet. Those participating were Seniors Austin Gilboe, Bailey Morrell, Curtis Farmer, Devon Darling, Shane Riley, William Brenner, Kaylin Beck, Kurt Chapman, Camryn Berry and Rachel Pike.
Juniors Rylee Delaney, Sydney Shaffer, Tanna Herlihy, Bryan Riley, Matthew Nichols, Ceilia McDonald and Gage Kneeland.
Sophomores Orion Schwab, Destiny Daigle, Natalie Luce, Jonathan Brenner and Alex Decker.
Freshmen Annabelle Collins, Acacia Fournier, Melissa Bamford, Abigail Thurston, Bryce St Pierre and Thomas Hebert.
Mentors Rob Taylor and family; Fred Ouellette; Joel Pike and family; Tony Flagg and family; James McDonald; Michael Taylor-Hampton; Brian Daigle and family; Randy Luce; Sara Delaney and family; and Amanda Allen and family.
“We may not have been the biggest team there, but somehow we seem to be the loudest and most spirited team,” Lemieux said.
SMART will be at its home event, the Pine Tree competition, March 30-April 1 at the Colisee in Lewiston, Maine. Please come out and support the team. It would love to have a big crowd from RSU 73. Admission is always free.
The New England Championships are at University New Hampshire in Durham, April 5-8. The team hopes some community members can make that meet, too.