Pharmers, Gleeks Win Big

Two Molokai robotics teams advance to states.

UPDATE – Three Molokai teams have advanced to states – the Molokai Forget-me-Nots were given a spot at the state tournament to represent Maui County.

Last weekend, a collective group of Molokai keiki proved they had the creativity and innovative minds to not only design and program robots, but actively create solutions to real problems using science and technology.

At Hawaii’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League competition on Maui, 40 Molokai students ages 9 to 14 competed against 20 other teams in a challenge that explored biomedical engineering.

Two of Molokai’s seven teams, the Kaunakakai Pharmers and Molokai Gleeks, earned themselves spots at the contest’s state championship set for Dec. 11 on Oahu.

“They got started in March and have been working hard ever since,” said Pharmers coach Heidi Jenkins. “They’ve put in about 600 hours.”

This year’s challenge was judged on teamwork, a robot design and performance, and a project that required kids to research a community health care problem and produce viable solutions.

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