2022-02-07: Thomas College in Waterville is the March 2022 Site of the Pine Tree District FIRST Robotics Competition

February 07, 2022

Since 2013, Maine has been the home of the Pine Tree District FIRST(R) Robotics Competition Qualifying Event each spring. While the 2020 and 2021 seasons were suspended because of the pandemic, the 2022 season will go on in person with appropriate modifications, and 24 teams are registered and ready to compete.

Thomas College in Waterville will be the site of the 2022 competition, with 24 teams registered to compete. Teams will compete in-person, but this year to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, there will be no on-site spectators. The event will take place from Friday, March 11 to Sunday, March 13, and available on Twitch. Watch this event listing for the Video link.

Describing this “sport” in a sentence is a tall order, but the official FIRST website (firstinspires.org) takes a stab at it with “Ultimate Sport of the Mind” and, “Under strict rules and limited time and resources, teams of high school students are challenged to build industrial-sized robots to play a difficult field game in alliance with other teams, while also fundraising to meet their goals, designing a team “brand,” and advancing respect and appreciation for STEM within the local community.”

FIRST Robotics is powered primarily by volunteers. Professionals from the community serve as mentors for high school team members. Each team is responsible for their own fundraising, and are judged on many criteria from the building of the robot to the sustainability of the team.

The Pine Tree District Event is not affiliated with any one team, but is organized by a group of volunteers from several teams to hold the only qualifying event being held in Maine. The event is funded entirely by corporate and private donations. Businesses and interested members of the community who can help support this event with donations of any amount or by volunteering should contact the committee at pinetreeregional@gmail.com.

To make a donation to make this opportunity possible for Maine’s teams, please make checks payable to: Pine Tree District Event, c/o Robotics Institute of Maine (RIM), 33 McAlister Farm Road, Suite 102, Portland, ME 04103. RIM is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Maine. For a VIP sponsor invitation, contact the committee. (optional) When you donate, be sure to indicate the Pine Tree District Competition as the purpose of your gift on your check or in an accompanying letter.

For more information or to get involved, contact the planning committee at pinetreeregional@gmail.com, and visit www.pinetreedistrict.org on the Web. “Like” the event’s Facebook page “Pine Tree Regional” to receive updates and join in the conversation.

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