The VEX IQ Maui Tournament, held on Saturday, Jan. 14 at Lahaina Intermediate School, featured 18 teams who competed for two spots in the state tournament.
The top two highest-scoring teams that earned an invitation to the VEX IQ state tournament are:
- Team 43110A from Kalama Intermediate and
- 10698D from Maui Waena Intermediate.
Other awards included:
- Excellence: Kalama Intermediate’s team 43111B
- Sportsmanship: Maui Waena Intermediates team 10698C
- Judge’s Award: Pukalani’s team 10704B
- Design: Pukalani’s 10704A
- Robot skills competition: Team 10698D
- Energy: Kamehameha’s team 18870M
The field featured teams from Maui Waena Intermediate School, Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena Elementary School, Lahaina Intermediate School, Pukalani Elementary School, Kamehameha Maui Middle School and Samuel Enoka Kalama Intermediate School.
Every year VEX IQ releases a new game concept to keep students interested and to either start or build upon STEM skills learned in previous years. In the 2022-23 VEX IQ game–Slapshot–robots were programed to acquire discs from different stations and aim them into four different zones. Each zone had an assigned score based on difficulty and precision.
Students between the ages of 8 and 14 competed using robots that they designed, built, and programmed. Since August, intermediate and elementary school teams competed in qualification matches which led up to the final VEX IQ Maui Tournament.
“Because of the nature of VEX IQ students are highly encouraged and guided to develop both leadership and communication skills. These kinds of skills are integral no matter what career path the student may choose,” organizers said.
“I’m thinking of pursuing both computer science and electrical engineering from all of the things so far that I’ve experienced in robotics,” said Kalama Intermediate School 8th grader, Jeffrey Ho. “Robotics will not only give me such essential life skills and a great head start in life but it will also build my friendships and networks with so many other people.”
Organizers said that with many great experiences like this, students leave the competition inspired to do even better next year and grow their love for STEM.