Two local robotics teams displayed the kind of core values that can make the whole island of Molokai proud.
At the seventh annual Hawaii First Lego League Championships held Dec. 3 at the Neal Blaisdell Center, the Molokai Blizzard Boys and the Molokai Oompah Loompahs took home first place trophies in the Core Values portion of the competition. The Blizzard Boys placed first in the Teamwork category while the Ooompah Loompahs were first in Gracious Professionalism.
Coaches Kawika Gonzales and Meg Fox, both teachers at Kaunakakai Elementary, led the students representing Molokai High School, Molokai Middle School and Kaunakakai. Students on the two teams are Lily Jenkins, Sarah Jenkins, Hikilii Chow, Katie Domingo, Kai Kalani, Kapahu Chow, Noah Keanini, Cendall Manley, Momi Afelin, Erik Svetin, Caele Manley and Gus Lodise.
A total of 40 teams competed in the FLL state championships. Meanwhile, another 60 teams were competing at the same time in the Pan Pacific VEX Robotics Championship at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Students from elementary through high school put their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to the test in this robotics double header. The friendly, spirited competition pitted robots against robots, and showcased student ingenuity, teamwork and the ability to think analytically under pressure.
Molokai teams won two of the three categories in Core Values. Pauoa Elementary won first place in the Inspirations category followed by Noelani Elementary. Placing second in Teamwork was Holomua Elementary. Highlands Intermediate placed second in Gracious Professionalism.
The overall FLL tournament champions were the Punabots, from Punahou School, and ‘Iolani Neohawks, from ’Iolani School.