Local STEM Charter team wins honors at tourney

Local STEM Charter team wins honors at tourney

A North Idaho STEM Charter Academy team was awarded first-place honors at an international robotics competition in California on May 21.

The STEM Charter team — “Them Donuts” — competed against 79 other teams at the FIRST Lego League International Invitational Open Championship at Legoland California. The competition drew teams from all corners of the world, including Brazil, Puerto Rico, Japan, South Korea and Guam.

“Them Donuts,” a team comprised of STEM Charter 8th grade students, won first place in the category of Core Values for “Gracious Professionalism.” The team’s previous honors included winning a North Idaho Regional event and second place Grand Champion team at the Idaho State FIRST Lego League Finals.

“Core Values is the heart of FIRST and ‘Gracious Professionalism’ is the soul,” said coach Beth Brubaker. “Gracious professionalism means competing like crazy, while helping other teams to achieve their best as well.”

Members of “Them Donuts” include Alauna Davidson, Julia Major, Caleb Simmons, Tyler Wilmoth and Wesley Pelton. The team was coached by Brubaker and STEM Charter instructor Dave Johnson.

“Winning the Gracious Professionalism award was an amazing experience,” Davidson said. “It is an honor when you realize that you have won this award at an international competition, while still having helped other teams in the process.”

More than 22,000 teams worldwide competed in FIRST Lego League during the 2017 season.