The Knight Hackers of Academia de la Inmaculada Concepcion in Mayaguez

By Christian Ostorga

If there’s one team that has taken full advantage of the fun we have at FIRST LEGO League PR, it’s without a doubt our 2019 Rising Star Award winners the Knight Hackers of Mayagüez.

Participating in every tournament this season, the tiny squad from Academia de la Inmaculada Concepción demonstrated that you can still win BIG while enjoying every second and every moment of the competition.

“I enjoy their occurrences, they are always happy,” says head coach Lizmarie Durán, a 16-year technology teacher who teaches Pre-K to 6th grade and has also devoted 2 years of her career in Special Education.

To think, that on the day of the Championship, this team, along with many of our teams from the west coast, woke up during the wee hours of the morning to make their 2-hour trek to San Juan, arriving at the Puerto Rico Convention Center at around 7AM just to have an explosion of energy upon receiving the last award of the day, simply amazes us!

Often seen dancing together at tournaments or socializing with other teams, it’s been difficult to decide whether the group of 10 are having more fun competing or simply being children.

“We chose FIRST LEGO League because it involves several STEM disciplines and values, and the students have fun while they learn. We also leave the school to interact with other teams that share their same interests,” adds Lizmarie.

Earlier this season, Academia de la Inmaculada Concepción hosted our first LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 training with the tremendous support of Lizmarie. The school, whose only been with our program for two years, consists of three teams: Knight Owls, Knight Hackers and Galactic Team.

The Knight Owls, a sophomore team of older students were very influential in the growth of their young comrades, the Knight Hackers, and both will be supporting their even younger squad, Galactic Team, at our inaugural FLL JR. Expo and Off Season Tournament tomorrow.

We want to congratulate all of the students of Academia de la Inmaculada Concepción for an amazing season, and especially want to thank Lizmarie for her investment in our program and for coaching such a wonderful group of energetic and enthusiastic children.

Thank you to Mayagüez Ford and Century Optical for not only sponsoring but contributing to the future of these young engineers.

Go Knights!