VERNON — Viking Robotics participated in two district qualifying events at Mount Olive and Bridgewater High Schools. At Mount Olive, they advanced to the semi-finals as captains of their own alliance. After doing well at the first competition, the team was excited to see where the second competition at Bridgewater-Raritan High School would lead them. There, they advanced to the quarter-finals of the competition after being drafted by an alliance in the first round. The team went on to a noteworthy finish, but scored several key awards. Viking Robotics won the Spirit Award, which recognizes teams for their service throughout the community and their dedication to the principles of FIRST. In the past few years, the team has passionately worked to demonstrate the opportunities provided by robotics by attending the Sussex County Fair, the Girls World Expo, a “Bring Your Kid to Work Day” at a local insurance company, farmers markets, and by visiting children at a school run by the Pine Island Migrant Workers Committee. In addition to the Spirit Award, the team’s lead mentor, Aaron Kiedes, was declared a semi-finalist for the Woodie Flowers Award, which recognizes mentors who are strong leaders and inspire their team members to communicate and properly work together. Also bringing in an award was Safety Captain, Juliana Schlichting, who won the Safety All Star of the Day award for her impressive safety precautions and preparations put in place for her team at the competition.Viking Robotics is very proud of their efforts this competition season, and hope to excel even more at their regional event this April at Lehigh University. The team attributes much of its success to the generous donations and help from the community. For more information on the competitions and FIRST Robotics, please visit Vernonrobotics.com.