Tuesday | April 28, 2015
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Budding engineers

A team of 10 second-graders from Konawaena Elementary School won first place, “Special Judges Award,” at the fourth annual TMT Big Island BrushBot Robot Tournament.

Elementary and middle school students built miniature robots from toothbrush heads, stripped wire, rubber bands and a battery, to compete in relay races, figure skating, sumo wrestling and bowling contests. The robots were built in advance of the Sept. 29 event at University of Hawaii at Hilo, with the exception of the bowling bots, which were constructed on-site.

“Having experienced scholastic robotics from those 120 pounds to those with multiple sensors and processing units, the enthusiasm and creativity expressed in the brushbots are like any other program,” said Art Kimura, head of space-themed educational program Future Flight Hawaii. “We hope students having a taste of the brushbots will be encouraged to pursue participating in ever more complex opportunities to express their genius.”

Konawaena’s team members were Kaezn Antolin, Georgia Beard, Talmidge Beard, Sophia Burgess, Kamalani Catabay, Nathand Demers, Jacob Fernandez-Victor, Cody Kashiwabara, Eli-Anthony Uemura and Peyton Winkel.