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Kohala Elementary Colts participate in the West Hawaii First Lego League competition at Kealakehe High School

On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Kohala Colts participated in the West Hawaii First Lego League competition at Kealakehe High School. This year, the contest was held as part of the Kealakehe High School Robotics’ Hawaii Island-Robotics Exploration Showcase headed by Kealakehe’s robotic’s coordinator Justin Brown.

Eleven teams from Hawaii Island schools participated in this years event. The day started off with check-in and robot inspection at 8:30 a.m. Interviews started at 9 a.m., with three interview sessions. First was the core values interview where teams are challenged to come up with a solution to a simple problem. Teams are given a task, and are judged on how well they work together to achieve their goal.

Next was the project interview, where teams are asked to present their “innovative solution” to this year’s theme of “Nature’s Fury.” The Kohala Elementary Colts named their project the “D’Home on the Go!” Their self sustainable dome-home project brought home the project award for the first time since the program’s establishment in 2010.

The third interview was all about robot design, where teams are asked to explain and display the abilities of their robot. Hungry teams were treated to a pre-ordered steak plate lunch. Dunking booths and jumping castles were alive with children jumping and playing and having fun all afternoon. The Robot Game began at 1 p.m. The Robot Game is the “fun” part where all spectators are invited to watch and cheer on their favorite teams. Each team had three separate runs to achieve their highest score. First Lego League is a project based program based on friendly “coopertition.” At the end of the day, three teams from the field were chosen to represent West Hawaii at the state tournament on Dec. 7.

The Kohala Colts were chosen as first alternate based on the total of all four categories: Core Values, Project, Robot Design, and Robot Game; garnering fourth place in the tournament. On the following Tuesday, the Colts received an invite to the State Tournament as a wild card. It was announced to the team’s excitement during an awards presentation made over Kohala Colts TV, by Vice Principal Bruce Kawachika.

The 2013 Kohala Colts Robotics team: Grace Todd, Hailey Caravalho-Rivera, Ayzon Kaitoku, Imiloa Lesher, and Quentin “Tookie” Hook. The team is lead by Coaches Sammie and Donovan Aiona. The team was helped by principal Danny Garcia, former mayor Harry Kim, Sergeant Christian from the Hawaii National Guard, Kawachika, the Hook family, and Marcus from MK Custom builders in Kailua-Kona.