Proud to be on the PEACHES robotics team

Did you know that our Pearl City District Complex Schools represent some of the state’s top robotics teams from the elementary, intermediate, and high school levels? In 2017, Pearl City High School and Highlands Intermediate School will send five out of eight state qualifying robotics teams to Kentucky in February to compete at the VEX World Championships.

Pearl City Highlands Elementary School placed first and second in the First Lego League State Tournament that earned both teams invitations to the FLL World Festival in Houston. PEACHES has a total of three teams in their robotics program for the 2016-2017 school year.  The third team made up of just three students was a first alternate to the state tournament. They did not get to compete at the state level, but have been invited to travel with their PEACHES robotics ohana to Houston as supporters.

PEACHES robotics students composed of fifth and sixth graders are truly talented, extremely intelligent, and very humble. They work hard and share their successes and accomplishments together, as a team. Win or lose, they are as one, and appreciate the opportunity to represent their school, Pearl City community, and state of Hawaii to a world-wide audience.

"As proud as we are of our two winning teams, as a school, we are equally proud of our non-winning teams, for the "gracious professionalism" (another FLL core value) they've displayed," said PEACHES robotics advisor/coach Ms. Janice Lee.

Ms. Lee shared with me the following reflections from the students about what it means to be a part of the robotics team at PEACHES:

On the PCHES robotics team, you have to work hard, never give up, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!! On our team we focus on learning and having a positive experience. The final thing that we will always keep in our minds is that, we are one team, and that’s all that matters. (Kira Yoda)

What I think being a part of the Pearl City Highlands Elementary School’s robotics team is that we learn how to be a family. What I mean by this is that before we joined this robotics program, we were just friends, so when we joined we learned that we are more than just friends, we are a family. For example, one of our robotics teams didn’t make it to states, but we didn’t tease them or anything, we just congratulated them for all their hard work and we still treated them like they were a part of our teams. And I think that they did really well for a team that was formed a few weeks before competition. (Brittany Ann Nozaki)

Being a part of a Robotics team means that you have to work together to solve new problems. On the Peaches Robotics team, we don’t focus on winning, but we work on having fun, and learning how to work together and, we always have fun. (Kacie Arakaki)

"One of FLL's core values that Gary (Kanamori) and I try to emphasize is "what we learn is more important than what we win," Ms. Lee said. "Easy to say when you win, but do you really believe it when you don't? I think all the students have learned a lot this season."

I would like to wish all of the students and their advisors the best of luck as they travel to compete for world robotics championship titles and awards on the mainland later in the school year!

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

2016-2017 Pearl City Highlands Elementary School robotics team members