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Just Keep Swimming to Represent Maine at North American Championships

FIRST LEGO League at Spruce Mountain Middle School is a co-curricular activity:

LEGO League introduces Middle School students to real-world engineering challenges by building LEGO-based robots to complete tasks on a thematic playing surface.  They also do a research project on the year's theme.  The 2013-2014 theme is "Nature's Fury" and students needed to find an innovative solutions to problems faced by those in a natural disaster. Spruce Mountain Middle School Teams had students on 4 different teams who competed at the Maine LEGO League Championships on Saturday December 14th, 2013 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Congratulations to "The Generators" - Winners of the prestigious Judges Award and "Just Keep Swimming" who won 1st place for Project Presentation, 2nd Place in Robotics Elimination Competition, and 3rd place in the overall Champions Award.

Middle-school students get to:
  • Design, build, test and program robots using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology
  • Apply real-world math and science concepts
  • Research challenges facing today’s scientists
  • Learn critical thinking, team-building and presentation skills
  • Participate in tournaments and celebrations

What FLL teams accomplish is nothing short of amazing. It’s fun. It’s exciting. The skills students learn will last a lifetime!

Information on this year's challenge can be found at:



Just Keep Swimming Event Calendar

Just Keep Swimming Event Calendar




All Girls Team “Just Keep Swimming” to Represent Maine at

 LEGOLAND in California


Fresh off a very successful showing at the annual Maine State Lego League Championship in Augusta on December 14th, Spruce Mountain Middle School's Lego League team Just Keep Swimming has been invited to attend the North American Open Championship in Carlsbad, CA.  The seven-member, all girls team, consisting of Brooke Bolduc, Destiny Daigle, Tanna Herlihy, Skyler Lewis, Alana McDaniel, Hallie Pike, and Sydney Shaffer are planninging to travel May 15th to San Diego to attend the three day competition at LEGOLAND.

In order to attend this event, the team will need to fundraise between $8,000 and $10,000. Team members, coaches, and parents are planning several upcoming fundraisers including various tag days, a bottle drive, a car wash, a Lego Build-a-Thon, a dinner and auction, as well as other events.   The team members and parents will also be seeking and accepting donations from area businesses and charities, as well as from other businesses outside of the local community. 

Team coach and SMMS Lego League founder Rob Taylor met with parents and students on January 16th to discuss the invitation. "I think this is an amazing opportunity for the girls to continue what they have already started and proceed to the next level. I was so pleased with the quality of the presentation they made in December, and I know Just Keep Swimming can expound upon it with our help and hopefully make a great showing in California," Coach Taylor said.  "The team also showed a lot of spirit in Augusta and was able to engage the crowd throughout the entire competition.  They met all the core values of the competition including gracious professionalism, teamwork, sharing, and friendly competition." 

Coach Jay Lindsey said, "I look forward to traveling with the team to San Diego and seeing this group compete, present, and share their spirit with teams from all over North America."

At the state championship in Augusta, Just Keep Swimming was one of only two all girls teams to compete out of seventy-five teams with children ages nine to fourteen from across Maine.  The teams worked with LEGO robots that students had designed, constructed, and programmed. Students had to also perform an oral presentation on their innovative solution to a problem based on this year’s theme of Nature’s Fury, which dealt with natural disasters.

The team’s LEGO robot was in sixth place after qualifying matches, where the best score out of three trials places the teams for the playoffs. Even though five Lego robots put up better scores in qualifying, Just Keep Swimming's robot proved to be very consistent and in the first round it was able to upset all Lego robots and had the highest score of all 12 Lego robots who qualified for the playoffs.

With teammates Brooke Bolduc and Sydney Shaffer at the controls, the Lego robot scored another upset in the semifinals, knocking out the two highest scoring teams of the day. The team had a tough run in the final and ended up with second place in elimination competition. 

Just Keep Swimming also nailed their research project presentation on their innovative solution to flooding on the Sandy River by Pike’s Farm in Farmington. The team met with team member Hallie Pike’s grandfather David Pike, who had a levee destroyed on his property in the 1970s due to a flood caused by an ice jam. The altered flow of the river inundated 15 acres of prime farmland. 

The team’s solutions included mining gravel from the river to prevent floods, constructing a hydraulic house lift to move houses out of the way of flood waters, and a public awareness campaign. They received first place overall for their project. When all scores from all the judging categories were tabulated, the team took third place over all out of the 75 teams competing.  The girls on Just Keep Swimming were able to demonstrate research and solutions to real world problems that required application of physics, earth science, and environmental science.  They also showed great skills in engineering and public speaking.

Committee members who are working diligently to send Just Keep Swimming to California are Jodi Bolduc, parent committee chair; Amy McDaniel, fundraising chair; Nevada Daigle, travel coordinator; Amanda Shaffer-Allen, donations chair; Kathleen Pike, Team Mom; coaches and SMMS teachers Rob Taylor and Jay Lindsey; and team mentor Joel Pike, Lego robot engineering and technical advisor.

Contact Information:

Those wishing to make donations to Just Keep Swimming's endeavor to get to Carlsbad, CA, may direct their tax deductible contribution to Jay Lindsey at Spruce Mountain Middle School, 23 Community Drive, Jay ME 04239.  Checks should be made to “Spruce Mountain Middle School.”  For more information, contact Jay Lindsey at by 207-897-4319 or via email 

If you would like more information about Just Keep Swimming, please contact Rob Taylor or Jay Lindsey at (207) 897-4319 or email or 

JKS Public Awareness Events

The girls of Just Keep Swimming are sharing what they have learned about Emergency Preparedness by distributing information flyers at events like the "Sled In" at the Livermore Falls Rec Field.  They also ran a booth with a children's game based on their team mascot, NEMO, and won the snow sculpture contest!

Emergency Preparedness Public Awareness Event at Walmart in Our State Capitol
The girls of Just Keep Swimming shared emergency preparedness information in Augusta Maine!  Their theme for the day: "Are you storm ready?"

The girls of SMART show team spirit

Spruce Mountain Area Robotics Teams (SMART) provide programs like LEGO League for Middle School Students and FIRST Robotics Challenge for High School Students.  Programs are inclusive and all students are invited to participate.  Robots are not just for boys and the young ladies of SMART have great engineering skills and team spirit!  Check out the ladies of SMMS Team "Just Keep Swimming" (front row) and the young women of SMART 3930 (back rows.)

YouTube Video