Honolulu grade school robotics team to compete in big nat’l tilt

/ 02:00 PM January 10, 2020

Kipapa Elementary School robotics team members showing how their LEGO Boomtown works. SCREENGRAB

HONOLULU – Judges at Hawaii’s FIRST LEGO League Jr. event chose a team of Kipapa third-graders over 53 other public, private and charter schools to send to the April 2020 LEGO League World Festival in Houston, Texas.

The five STEM students at Kipapa Elementary School built an elaborate LEGO model of a make-believe city called Boomtown.


The LEGO entries were required to include only one moving part in a project, but the Kipapa team built three. The hubs are wireless and the structure is connected to a computer.

“You just press the button. If you want to go this way or this way. It’s tricky because you have to go right in the middle to stop it,” Jonah Baniaga told Hawaii News Now, pointing to a bright green spinning wheel that’s part of the structure.


Kipapa team members with their teachers. SCREENGRAB

In planning their LEGO project, which took two months to finish, the team studied buildings to be able to tell a story of how their Boomtown Build is durable, accessible and environmentally friendly. The team made its final design to resemble a dry dock at Pearl Harbor.

The team’s trip to Houston will cost about $8,000. Kipapa Elementary School, where more than half of  students qualify for free or reduced lunch, is holding fundraisers and also set up a GoFundMe page.

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TAGS: FIRST LEGO League Jr. Event, Kipapa Elementary School, LEGO structure contest, robotics, STEM education, third-graders’ robotics team
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