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Motorized Mayhem makes mark at world championship

MADISON – Motorized Mayhem, an independent robotics team with students and alumni from St. John the Baptist Catholic School, was honored at the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) World Robotics Championship Tournament.

After claiming Alabama FLL State Championship, the team earned Alabama’s sole bid to compete at the world championship in April in Houston, Texas.

Team members are students Kate Petersen, Remy Patin, Bennett Rigby, Zoe Patin, Julia Freestone, Audrey Groger and Lilly Butler, along with St. John’s alumni Matthew Freestone from St. John Paul II Catholic High School and Joseph Groger from Bob Jones High School.

At the world championship, Motorized Mayhem competed against 110 other champion teams from 25 states and 38 countries.

“The kids had an amazing experience meeting students from across the world. While there, they had the chance to mentor a team of younger students from Trinidad and Tobago and made friends with students from Israel, Jordan, China and many other nations,” said Assistant Coach Todd Freestone.

Motorized Mayhem was nominated for awards in five of nine possible judged categories. They received a perfect score in project judging and accomplished their personal best score in robot performance to rank as 19th from 110 international champion teams.

“They crossed the world stage to receive a trophy for third place in programming in the robot design category,” Freestone said.

“The kids were truly humbled and honored to represent their community and the State of Alabama in this way. On their final Robot Performance round, they flew an Alabama State flag made of LEGOs on their robot. They made the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity,” stated Coach Patin.

To prepare for the international competition, Motorized Mayhem practiced judging rounds with local FLL coaches, judges and experts. The team presented a FLL Robotics session to Madison City Council in March and worked with the Apex Predators from Huntsville High School.

The team secured corporate sponsorships from local technology companies. In addition, a local patent attorney and Booz Allen Hamilton engineers helped Motorized Mayhem secure a provisional patent on their project invention from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“To all of these individuals and groups, the team is so incredibly grateful,” Patin said.

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