Hawaii's future leaders battled for robotic supremacy over the weekend in a LEGO competition full of fierce competition.
“We think ours is better because most of our missions are accurate and it works most of the time,” explained Fort Shafter Elementary School student Danae Jones, 11.
They created “ShafterBot."
The Hawaii First LEGO League State Championship was the first time three of the state's elementary and middle school robotics programs could test their skills in teamwork, communication and design against each other.
“Our advantage is because this is the newest robot, the EV3. It has different sensors like this one that lets you turn better and faster,” said Diego Zamora, a sixth-grader at Mokapu Elementary.
Teams were challenged to build a robot that accomplishes the most missions on the field within 2.5 minutes.
More than designing a robot that dominates, the goal was to encourage teamwork and ignite excitement in learning.
“We think at this age, the more opportunities and things they get to see, the better off they’ll be because they get to pick and choose from everything they get involved in,” said Sara Tamayose, president of the Hawaii First LEGO League.
Members of the Junior First LEGO League who are 6 to 9 years old were not competing, but still got a chance to show off their creativity with LEGO displays of natural disasters and how to stay safe against them.
“They catch the excitement, and we hope that it builds and continues until they graduate from high school and go on to college,” said Tamayose.
And even if engineering isn't in the future, the leaders of tomorrow are being built right here.