FA Robotics Earns Spot at the VEX World Championships
Fryeburg Academy is pleased to announce that its robotics team named 20005B "Free Cheese" earned a coveted spot at the VEX World Championships, which will be held in Dallas, Texas, on April 25-27th.
The team finished the qualification matches at States undefeated and in first place, earning them the number one seed in the final bracket out of 48 teams. "We took first place in the Skills Competition, which combines driver skills and autonomous programming skills," says David Sartory, FA's technology instructor and robotics coach. "Our first-place position in the tournament also was the highest season score in all Maine rankings, ultimately earning the team's space at Worlds."
The inception of FA's robotics club was formed during the 2017-18 academic year and primarily student-led by the Academy's first Ukraine Global Scholar (UGS), Tonia Zakorchemna '19. Six years later, another UGS student, senior and team captain Yeo Bondar, took the team to Worlds for the first time this year. "We began in an unused dorm room with two students and have grown to include around eight competition team members and another six club members each year," continues Sartory. "Since that year, we've expanded multiple times and now have a beautiful full-time lab adjacent to the computer lab. The students built it, and it reflects them in every way. It's truly their space, and they have earned the school's trust by handling the gear and the space well."
When asked what skill set the team employed to yield such a successful outcome, Sartory states the team is well known for being a great alliance partner. "The entire VRC program relies on effective use of mostly random partnerships, and our 20005B is helpful, cooperative, and fun to work with," continues Sartory. "Their well-deserved Sportsmanship Award, chosen by a team of judges who spend the day watching the tournament and interactions between teams, is further proof. In addition, this team really took the challenge seriously and, partway through the season, realized that they could be more effective by ignoring one of the larger aspects of the game (shooting discs) and focusing more on fast and accurate movement and a powerful endgame, allowing a partner more time to focus on discs. This strategy paid off repeatedly."
As for the team's goals for the future, their immediate goals are to prepare for the upcoming VEX World's Championship in April and recruit more students to join the club. "The team is planning a complete rebuild, focusing on improving anything that broke, failed, bent, or otherwise surprised them during the regular season,” concludes Sartory. "I feel we have reached a great spot in our growth, but I'd love to see more of the teams reach three to four more students each, which is when dividing the work gets truly interesting. We're attempting to reach out to more students who don't realize their skills are needed and valuable on a robotics team. Everyone assumes you need to want to build robots, and obviously, that's a part of it, but the reality is so much more interesting. We need artists, designers, planners, people who love organizing, athletes who understand competition and strategy, coders, scouts, and researchers. I'm hoping we can use some of this momentum to get more kids involved in the less-obvious parts of the program."
Fryeburg Academy is pleased to announce that three Academy students were recognized for their outstanding science projects on Saturday, April 1st, at the Maine State Science Fair held at the University of Maine Orno. May Shin ‘23 and Jiwon Choi ‘24 took first place in the Plant Sciences (Growth & Development) category out of ten submissions with their project entitled “The Effects of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Mushroom Substrate on the Plant Growth and Soil Characteristics for PE Microplastics-Contaminated Soil.” The pair studied the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizae and mushroom substrate on plant growth in soils that are contaminated with microplastics.
Fryeburg Academy is pleased to announce that faculty member James St. Pierre was among five Maine educators named to the prestigious Department of Education’s Inaugural Class of Teacher Leader Fellows. “Being a teacher leader means connecting and helping others connect. It means gathering the ideas and experiences of the teachers in the state and sharing them in manageable, practical, and efficient ways. We have such a great array of professionals whose knowledge can elevate all students, so to be one of the leaders bringing them together is a privilege,” says St. Pierre
FA's Model UN Team took its second-ever trip to New York City and the National High School MUN conference from March 9-13. The conference was held at the Midtown Manhattan Hilton blocks from the UN building. As representatives of Germany this year, our team was given the unique opportunity to visit the German Mission to the UN, where German diplomat, Hoger, answered our questions about global trade, green energy, and Russia's war on Ukraine. We also spent Saturday morning in the General Assembly of the UN seats, an unforgettable moment, listening to a young Iraqi-American man talk about his struggle to identify with both his birth home and his adopted home.
We are pleased to announce that Fryeburg Academy inducted 28 new inductees to the B.W. Tinker Chapter of the National Honor Society on Monday, March 20th. Membership in the National Honor Society is among the highest honors that can be awarded to a high school student. The B.W. Tinker Chapter of NHS works diligently to bring the accomplishments of outstanding students to the attention of parents, teachers, peers, and the community. And the chapter, along with the more than 15,000 chapters in schools across the nation, strive to give practical meaning to the Society's standards of scholarship, leadership, service, and character selection. Students are not inducted simply because of a high academic average, but rather recognized for excelling in all of these areas.
On Thursday, March 16th, Fryeburg Academy celebrated the sports season with its annual winter sports awards assembly held in the Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center. The following student-athletes were recognized for their outstanding performance during the winter 2022-23 season:
Individual Team Awards
Alpine- Sam Winterbottom '23, Coaches Award
Clara Yager '26, Most Improved
Hogan Bemis '23, Coaches Award
Joshua Wake '23, Most Improved
Boy's Basketball- Camden Johnson, Coaches Award
Gunnar Saunders '24, MVP
Girls' Basketball -Sydney Shaw, MVP
Carla Pintor Gali '24, Coaches Award
Ice Hockey- Peyton McMurtray, Adversity Award
Caleb Micklon '23, MVP
Indoor Track -Zack Emery, Coaches Award
Emily Chaine '24, Coaches Award
Nordic- Owen Reinbach '25, Coaches Award
Wrestling- Gabe McKenney '23, The Athlete
Eliya Deri '24, Heart
All-Academic Team (seniors with a GPA of 3.2 or higher)
David Bellis-Bennett, Alpine
Kacey-Jane Clark, Nordic
Owen Galligan, Ice Hockey
Myles Garland, Ice Hockey
Andrew Irwin, Nordic
Elsie Leonard, Alpine
Gabe McKenney, Wrestling
Caleb Micklon, Ice Hockey
Grace Murley, Alpine
Ally Southwick, Girls' Basketball
Isaac Twombly-Wiser, Nordic
Samantha Winterbottom, Alpine
All-WMC Conference Athletes
Gunnar Saunders '23, Boys' Basketball
Sydney Shaw '24, Girls' Basketball
Mina Milosevic '24, Girls' Basketball
Hogan Bemis '23, Alpine
Holden Edenbach '25, Alpine
Chandler Thorne '25, Alpine
Jacob Adams '23, Indoor Track and Field
3-Star Jacket Recipients (earned three varsity letters)
Fryeburg Academy is an independent boarding and day school, serving grades 9-12 and postgraduate. We invite you to explore our site and learn how students from around the globe find their place in the world through our exceptional academic, art, and athletic programs.