Part I in a series
Community Contributed by By Kalei “Pumpkin” Moss
For the past few months, four Molokai First LEGO League (FLL) teams have been working hard to prepare for the regional competition that was held on Maui the first two weekends in November. This year the theme of the FLL competition was “Food Factor,” in which each team was given the task to design and operate a LEGO MINDSTORM robot and to research and create a solution to a problem that dealt with food safety. Each team dedicated hundreds of afterschool hours through the 21st Century Grant, to brainstorm ideas for their robot and their research project, and some teams even choreographed routines to present their ideas to the regional FLL judges in an original way.
The “Molokai Blizzard Boys” team is based out of Kaunakakai Elementary School but is comprised of students from grades five through eight. Led by their team coach Kawika Gonzales, they researched the problem of industrial freezers malfunctioning during non-store hours and causing food spoilage. Their solution to the problem was to create a wireless sensor that transmits temperature information to an app on an iPhone, iPad or smartphone. Their idea is so innovative they even have a possible investor that may want to patent the product. They presented their research to the judges by doing magic tricks and were awarded the best robot design. They will be moving on to the state competition held in Oahu in December.
The “Molokai Oompa Loompas” team is based out of Molokai Middle School and is made up of girls grades six through nine. Led by Meg Fox, they researched the problem of people consuming meat that is undercooked or raw and may become sick because of it. Their solution to the problem was a “pressurator” which uses pressure to crush any living things’ DNA, including germs, leaving uncooked meat germ free and safe to eat, but the meat is not distorted in any way. The “Molokai Oompa Loopmas” presented their research to the judges through a song and dance routine that was based on “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” complete with costumes. They won the Maui Tournament Championship Award, meaning they were the overall winners of the regional competition, and they will be moving on to the state competition on Oahu in December.
Congratulations and good luck to the teams that will be moving on to the state competition in December. We are proud of all the teams and the hard work they have done to prepare for this year’s regional competition. If you would like your child to participate in a 21st Century Grant funded FLL class or if you would like more information you can contact Joshua Adachi at Kaunakakai Elementary School at 553-1730. Should you have difficulty getting in touch with Mr. Adachi, please contact Sandra Czajkowski at 658-0609. Look for part 2 of the “Food Factor” article, in which we will highlight the Kualapu`u Elementary School and girls Kaunakakai Elementary School teams.