Students deal with ‘Nature’s Fury’ at Lego League

PUHI — Students from 11 FIRST Lego robotics teams participated in “Nature’s Fury: Prepare, Stay Safe, Rebuild,” Saturday.

The theme of Nature’s Fury guided the Kauai student teams who joined more than 200,000 children, ages 9 to 16 years old, from more than 70 countries in exploring the storms, earthquakes, waves, and other natural disasters.

During the competition, teams generate solutions for what can be done when intense natural events take place. It included a presentation before a panel of judges.

Teams must design, build, test and program a robot to accomplish the various Challenge Missions on the game field. Each team has three opportunities to accumulate as many points as possible within a 2.5-minute period, with the highest score of three rounds determining awards.

“We finished strong in other competitions, but last year, we missed the competition altogether,” said Keoni Pau, the Koloa Elementary School robotics team adviser. “This year, we were able to get everything together and the students are excited to be back.”

Koloa School was one of the teams participating in the annual FIRST Lego League robotics competition held before a full house of parents and family members at the Island School gym.

Three teams will advance to the state competition.

Island School’s LEGO Masters finished the competition as the Tournament Champion and winner of the Robot Performance award and is one of the three teams advancing to the state tournament.

The Kapaa Elementary School Dolphins and and the Koloa Technos from Koloa School are the other two teams moving on to the state competition.

The Robo-Hawks from the Elsie Wilcox Elementary School captured the Robot Design award with the Eleele Elementary School Hekebots earning the Core Values Award.

Participating teams in Nature’s Fury included the Kapaa Dolphins from Kapaa Elementary School, the LEGO Masters from Island School, Hanalei Robotics from the Hanalei Elementary School, Blue Aliens from the Waimea Canyon Middle school, Kilauea Robotics Kids from the Kilauea Elementary School, Hekebots from Eleele Elementary School, K.M.S. Mechanics from the Kapaa Middle School, Kekaha Robocraft from the Kekaha Elementary School, Wilcox Robo-Hawks from Wilcox School, Robo Builders from King Kaumualii, and the Koloa Technos from Koloa School.

Waimea Canyon Middle School instructor Susan Togioka said the robotics program at Waimea Canyon Middle School is an after school program.

“Students who go through the program come out with better presentation projects when presenting before adults, work better as a team, and walk away with way more than people expect,” Togioka said.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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