March 21, 2018, Lewiston: Maine high school robotics teams have been putting up impressive scores and taking home win after win in FIRST® Robotics Competition’s 2018 FIRST® POWER UP season. Maine engineering students from across the state are winning against robotics teams from across New England, showing the strength of Maine STEM education.

Maine teams have competed in 5 of the 6 New England district events, winning 4 of them outright. Standish’s team from Bonney Eagle High School (Team 133 “BERT”) won the Massachusetts North Shore event, while Baxter Academy for Technology and Science (Team 5687 “The Outliers”) won both New Hampshire’s Granite State and Southern Connecticut events. Brewer’s team (Team 4564 “Orange Chaos”) won the event at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. In addition the Riot Crew (Team 58) from South Portland led the South East Massachusetts event until a nail biting match in the finals that resulted in a 2nd place finish.

Of Maine’s 26 active FIRST Robotics teams, 14 have made it to the playoffs in the past three weeks of events around New England.

In addition, Maine teams are being recognized for their technical excellence and outstanding community impact. Spruce Mountain’s team “SMART” (Team 3930) received the most prestigious award in FIRST Robotics Competition, the Chairman's Award. Three teams won Excellence in Engineering awards, Bucksport (Team 6329), Baxter (Team 5687) and South Portland (Team 58), and Baxter also won an Industrial Design award. Brewer (Team 4564) won a Quality award and Gardiner (Team 4041) won a Gracious Professional award.

Over the past three years, Maine teams have dramatically improved. Last year, more Maine teams qualified for the New England District Championships than in any previous year, and this year, Maine is poised to continue this trend.

“It’s great to see how much Maine teams have been supporting each other” says Jon Amory, Engineering teacher at Baxter Academy and lead mentor for the Outliers. “We have become a real community across the state, and that has led to our recent success.”

Maine is hosting the Pine Tree District event at the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston this weekend, Friday and Saturday, March 23-24. Forty teams from across New England will compete. Admission is free and spectators are encouraged.

The Robotics Institute of Maine (RIM) is a non-profit organization that helps to sponsor the Pine Tree District Event and robotics teams across Maine. By collecting corporate donations and distributing them to teams, RIM works to ensure that a team's success is not defined by their zip code, but by their creativity and engineering skill. Please consider supporting students throughout Maine in their hands-on STEM learning by making a donation to RIM.

"The success of so many Maine teams this year has been very exciting," says Kyle McLellan, Chairman of the Board at RIM. "With all these powerhouses going head-to-head in one competition, Pine Tree is going to be a particularly thrilling tournament this year!"

 

ABOUT FIRST Robotics:

FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen of Deka Research and Development Corporation. FIRST. Based in Manchester, NH, FIRST is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designed to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields.

In 2018 there are more than 3,600 FIRST® Robotics Competition teams with a record 478 Rookie teams. There are over 90,000 youth participants, over 25,000 mentors, coaches, and supporters in more than 20 countries around the world. FIRST participants have access to more than $50 million in scholarships from nearly 200  providers. Robots seen in this season of FIRST  Robotics Competition are built in 6 weeks using a common kit of parts, and parts meeting FIRST requirements, and can weigh as much as 120 lbs. The competition season consists of a series of district and regional competitions culminating in late April at FIRST Championship hosted in Houston, TX and Detroit, MI.

To learn more about FIRST worldwide, visit www.firstinspires.org. To learn more about the Pine Tree District FIRST Robotics Competition, visit www.pinetreedistrict.org. To learn more about the Maine FIRST teams, visit www.MaineFIRST.org.  To learn more about RIM, visit www.robotsinme.org. If you have questions please contact Stephen Martin at smartin@firsinspires.org.