PUHI — The Kalaheo PRIDE, the First Lego League robotics team from Kalaheo School, had never had a team prior to the Kauai First LL tournament Saturday at the Wilcox Gymnasium on the Island School campus.
“This is the first time they’re entering the tournament,” said Taegan Keep, one of the announcers at the tournament. “This is the first time they’ve had a team. My brother is on the team, and they’re going to Honolulu!”
The Kalaheo PRIDE, earning top honors in the Core phase of the First Lego League Hydro Dynamics challenge, was one of three teams being announced as qualifying to advance to the state finals, which will take place Dec. 2 at the Neal Blaisdell Center on Oahu.
FLL is limited to elementary-school students on Kauai, and during the Hydro Dynamics challenge eight teams representing schools from Hanalei to Waimea Canyon Middle School worked to learn all about water — how to find, transport, use, or dispose of it.
“I didn’t even know they had competitions like this,” said Clyde Vito, a basketball coach whose son is a member of the Kalaheo PRIDE.
Joining Kalaheo School, the Voyagerbots from Island School, winners of the match, or Robot Performance phase of the Kauai tournament, and the Hanalei Pixel Bots from Hanalei School, the Kauai tournament overall champions, will represent Kauai at the state tournament. The Kapaa Dolphins, winner of the Project phase of the tournament, will serve as alternates in the event one of the three qualifying teams are unable to make the trip.
During the tournament, teams build, test and program an autonomous robot using Lego Mindstorms technology to solve a set of missions in the robot game. During this process, teams operate under the First Lego League signature set of core values, which celebrate discovery, teamwork and gracious professionalism. The Core award was presented to the Kalaheo School group.
Points accumulated through the phases are analyzed to determine the winner, this year the Hanalei Pixel Bots.
The Kilauea Robotics Kids earned the top Robot Design award, and the Kapaa Dolphins from the Kapaa Elementary School took the best Project award for their ideas covering the creation of timers for watering and showering to make most efficient use of water. The Robotic Voyagers earned the Robot Performance award for its performance during the Robot Game, where teams had three opportunities to accumulate as many points as possible in two and a half minutes.