Cape Elizabeth Robotics Team qualifies for 2016 VEX World Championship in April

From left, Federico Giovine, Jasper Hansel, Haley Fawcett, Mac Brucker. (Photos courtesy Evan Thayer)

The Maine State VEX Tournament Finals on Feb. 13, 2016 were a nail-biter.  Tied 1-1 after two rounds in the best-of-three Finals, Cape Elizabeth Team 56B and its alliance partners from Mid-Maine Technical Center and Berwick Academy combined good offense with good defense to win the deciding round 127-115.

As a team from the winning alliance, Cape Elizabeth’s Team 56B (junior Mac Brucker, and seniors Haley Fawcett, Federico Giovine and Jasper Hansel) have qualified for the VEX World Championship to be held April 20-23, in Louisville, Ky.  This is the sixth time in seven years that a Cape Elizabeth Robotics Team has qualified for the VEX World Championship.

This year’s VEX Robotics Competition, “Nothing but Net,” involves scoring Balls and Bonus Balls in Low and High Goals, and by elevating robots in the Climbing Zone.  Alliances of two teams each compete in matches consisting of 15 seconds of autonomous play followed by 1 minute 45 seconds of driver-controlled scoring.

Getting to this point in the season was no small task.   Team member Federico described the design process.  “We have probably made four different iterations for the flywheel and three for the chassis.  We also had three prototypes which never made it to competition, one of them included a massive fan.”

Cape Robotics Team 56C (sophomore Nate Labrie and senior Pat Winker, and sometimes 7th grader Joey Labrie) earned the Sportsmanship Award at States for their on-field and off-field conduct during the tournament.  During the 2015-16 season Team 56C participated in a total of five tournaments, earning seven trophies, including two Tournament Champion awards.

Cape Robotics as a district program continues to grow in both numbers of students involved and distinct program offerings.  Students in Grades 7 through 12 now attend Robotics Academy classes or for-credit introductory courses.  With these new programs to introduce the technical skills, the VEX competition itself becomes an authentic engineering challenge where students get to apply their technical and problem-solving skills, as well as their soft skills of communication and teamwork.

Fundraising underway

In addition to their technical preparation for the Worlds, Team 56B is starting a fund-raising campaign for their upcoming World Competition.  The team needs to raise $6000 to cover the registration fee and travel-related expenses for the team and their coach.  If you would like to help donations are being accepted on the Team’s GoFundMe account,  Donations are also being accepted by check payable to “Cape Elizabeth High School,” with “VEX Worlds Travel” written in the memo section.  Those checks can be mailed to VEX Robotics Team, c/o Cape Elizabeth High School, 345 Ocean House Road.

For more information about the district robotics program, visit or email robotics program coordinator Evan Thayer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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