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Pukalani and Lokelani teams capture VEX IQ League title

Pukalani Elementary and Lokelani Intermediate VEXIQ robots cross the field to score points on opposite sides in the 2019 Valley Isle VEX IQ League championships. The competition took place at Pukalani Elementary on Dec. 7. Both teams won league titles. Shown (from left) are Pukalani drivers Israel Enriquez and Jeffrey Ho, both 5th-graders, and Lokelani drivers Kainoa Caminos and Norman Montehermoso, both 8th-graders.

Pukalani Elementary STEM Imagineers Team 10704A and the Lokelani Intermediate Kolohe Kids Team 5777K captured the 2019 Valley Isle VEX IQ League title following the league championship on Dec. 7 at Pukalani Elementary School.

Both teams, which garnered a final score of 119 points in their alliance match, secured spots in the 2020 Hawaiian Electric Cos. VEX IQ Championships in February. There will be an elementary school state championship Feb. 14 and 15 at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama Kekuhaupi`o Gym on Oahu and a middle school state championship Feb. 28 and 29 at Kamehameha Schools Maui gym.

Maui Waena Robotics Team 10698A and Lihikai School Surferbots 11510A won the Excellence Awards, the most prestigious judges’ awards, for the middle and elementary School levels at the Maui league championship and also qualified for the state championships.

Teams of elementary students and middle-schoolers created robots to compete in this year’s game, titled “Squared Away.” The objective was to place cubes in colored goals on the field to score points. Teams also could score by placing balls in or on top of the cubes.

The VEX IQ match consists of a 1-minute time interval where drivers must hand their controller to their partners after 30 seconds.

Two-team alliances are chosen by computer, and they work to score as many points as possible. There are no defenders as in other robotics competitions.

The league held four qualification sessions at Lokelani Intermediate School, Maui Waena Intermediate School, St. Anthony Schools Maui and Lihikai Elementary School.

Cumulative scores at each session were used to calculate the final rankings.

The league was organized by Kepa Meno, Kolohe Kids Team 5777 mentor, and is run by Maui High School Robotics team members.

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