2 Hawaii teams from same school to compete at world Lego competi - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

2 Hawaii teams from same school to compete at world Lego competition

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It's the ultimate mash-up of science, technology, and toys.

Those tiny building blocks we all know as Legos are now teaching tools and being celebrated at the "First Lego League World Festival."

And Hawaii will have two teams there -- both from the very same elementary school.

Last December, two teams from Pearl City Highlands Elementary School took first and second place at the state championship. That earned them two spots at the World Lego Festival in Houston next week.

"We're very excited and we feel its an honor to represent the state," said Jan Lee, the school's librarian and one of the team's three coaches.

Garricka Pang, a 5th grader at the school, said the competition is just fun. I like experiencing all this stress," Pang said.

And there will be plenty of stress to go around.

The Pearl Highlands teams will be going up against thousands of other students from more than 39 other countries.

They'll compete by building a robot, performing a research project and being interviewed by judges about their robot's design and about their core values.

"Team work is one of the essential values for first Lego league. One third of how they're judged is how well they work together as a team and their attitude towards each other." said Gary Kanamori, one of the team's coaches and Pearl City High School vice principal.

"Its important because not everyone knows everything in robotics or in math so we all compromise each others' ideas and get one solution that we wouldn't get individually," added 11-year old Jayne Lua. 

The robots must navigate and solve problems on complex boards.

It's not always fun, but the coaches say it is one of the ultimate goals. That -- and learning.

"One of the core values that we emphasis with our students is that it's more important what they discover and learn than what they win." Lee said.

For the category that Pearl Highlands will be competing in, students must be between the ages of 9 and 14 years sold.

A total of 46 Hawaii students, along with parents, coaches and teachers, will attend.

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