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The Motorized Mayhem team was named Alabama State Champion at FLL Robotics Tournament and is headed to international competition. Members are Julia Freestone, standing from left, Lilly Butler, Zoe Patin, Joseph Groger and Bennett Rigby. Kate Petersen, kneeling from left and Remy Patin. Not pictured are Matthew Freestone and Audrey Groger. CONTRIBUTED

Motorized Mayhem headed to world robotics competition

MADISON – Two Madison teams took top honors as first- and second-place winners at the FIRST LEGO League or FLL Alabama State Championship.

Robots were racing to complete missions and navigate obstacles at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for the state tournament on March 4. At earlier regional tournaments, 36 teams qualified from across Alabama and met for a fun and challenging day of STEM competition and robot games, robotics parent volunteer Pam Bourque said.

Motorized Mayhem, an independent team consisting of students and alumni from St. John the Baptist Catholic School, was named Alabama Grand Champion. They will represent Alabama at the FLL World Competition in Houston, Texas on April 19-22.

Motorized Mayhem includes team members Matthew Freestone, Joseph Groger, Remy Patin, Kate Petersen, Bennett Rigby, Zoe Patin, Julia Freestone, Audrey Groger and Lilly Butler. Max Patin and Todd Freestone coach the team.

At the world competition, Motorized Mayhem will be one of 110 champion teams competing from 25 states across the United States and 38 foreign countries.

“Motorized Mayhem is honored to serve as an ambassador for the State of Alabama on this international stage. Our kids are extremely proud to represent their community in this way and spread the word that Alabama knows STEM,” Coach Patin said.

In addition, the BATtlebots team from Heritage Elementary School was awarded the second-place championship. BATtlebots team members include Madhu Balaji, Ronan Barnes, Evelyn Coon, Akshat Dubey, Nathan Johnson, Parth Kommidi, Dylan Templet, and Jeremiah Yang. Team coaches are Rachel Gibbs, Elise Coon and Matt Johnson.

FLL is an international robotics competition organized by FIRST for students ages 9-14. “FLL challenges students to think like scientists and engineers to solve real-world problems,” Taylor Whisenant said. Whisenant is FLL Affiliate Partner for Alabama.

“Students build, test and write software for an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORM technology to complete a set of Robot Game missions, all while displaying gracious professionalism,” Whisenant said.

FLL Champions must demonstrate excellence in all categories, which involve Robot Game, Robot Design, Project and Core Values.

To help Motorized Mayhem represent Madison and Alabama at the world competition, visit their GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/MotorizedMayhem.

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