“Breathe, breathe, breathing helps the nervousness”
The words of five-time lego league competitor, Ben Andrews. He’s part of the “Bridgineers” a team from Farmington with storied Lego League awards.
“It’s a lot of fun. Pretty nerve racking, but we’re doing pretty good so far,” says James Guillaume.
For the better part of the morning, the team was in first place out of 70 teams– all trying to get their robots through a course plagued by natural disasters in just 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
“These kids are amazing. Many of them have been doing this since 4th grade… They’ve worked so hard, and the reason I could be their coach is because they know what they’re doing,” said Claire Andrews, Coach.
Today, the team isn’t just competing for first place.
“The pink ribbons are in memory of Susan Phillips, who is a mom in our community… She lost a battle with breast cancer,” said Andrews.
Susan was the mother of the team’s best friends and when they heard her funeral was the same day as the Lego League Championship they decided they would skip the competition.
“I reminded them that Susan, the wonderful woman that she was, was a teacher, and she would not want them to miss this opportunity. Something they’ve worked for all semester,” Andrews said.
And they’ve worked hard. Sometimes for 5 hours a day.
“Even when we’re not here, we’re just constantly on your mind. You’re thinking, what can I do better? What can I? And you come in and you’re just like I came up with this great idea, let’s do it!” said River Lisius.
They say winning will mean much more than a trophy.
“We can come above something some tragedy that happened and we can make something beautiful out of something so terrible,” said Lisius.
The Bridgineers finished in second place.
First place went to the team, “Oh Boy – These Pickles are Natural Disasters”, which is from the Connors Emerson School in Bar Harbor.
The team Just Keep Swimming from Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay came in third.