DOVER-FOXCROFT — There is a first time for everything. The first time you tie your shoes. The first time you ride a bike, or maybe even a first date. For the most part, first times are rough, but they get smoother and easier with time. The Foxcroft Academy Robotics team threw that notion aside because in their first year of existence, in their first state championship meet, they won the 2018 VEX Robotics Competition state championship.
On Saturday, March 3, the Ponies outlasted 48 other Maine schools to win the Robotics State Championship at Biddeford High School. They partnered with MDI High School and Hampden Academy to win this years’ competition. The all-day event saw middle and high schools from all over the state converge on Southern Maine.
“With this being our first year, we were all just hoping to learn a lot along the way, and maybe compete at some tournaments,” said Foxcroft Academy STEM and Robotics Teacher Chelsea Vincent. “We never expected to do so well during the season, and now winning a state championship? I can’t begin to tell you how that feels.”
The world awaits the Ponies at the 2018 VEX Robotics World Championships, being held April 25-28, in Louisville. Close to 600 other schools from around the globe will be there, and the FA team, “Domo Arigato,” will be one of the entries, as Foxcroft Academy is sending the nine-member team to compete.
“Robotics isn’t the future, it’s the present, and we at Foxcroft Academy are so happy to be able to provide this program, as well as several other STEM and coding related classes and clubs,”said Arnold Shorey, FA Head of School. “For a first year group to have this kind of success, it shows we have talentedstudents and dedicated faculty working together for a common goal. To be able to fly the FA flag high at the World Championships is a huge honor, and a credit to Ms. Vincent and her students.”
For the next six weeks, the FA Robotics team will fine tune their work on “Achilles the Robot”, making it the best robot it can be. The team knows that winning a state championship was tough, and winning a world championship will be even tougher, but they don’t fear competition.
“The world championship tournament is on an entirely different level,” said Vincent. “The best teams from countries all around the world will be competing. We have to bring our A-game in order to stay competitive, we’ve already worked out some structural modifications and programmatic changes. However, no matter what happens, I am so proud of the students and what they have achieved this year.”
The Foxcroft Robotics team includes: President Jinlin “Wayne” Chen, Vice President Kaiyuan “Harry” Ma, Treasurer Botai “Jerry” Zhou, Secretary Jordan Thomas, Nhat Huynh, Duong Lu, Natali Barseghyan, Kiet “Vincent” Vo, and Shiyang “Michael” Wang.
For information on the VEX Robotics World Championships, visit www.vexrobotics.com.