The Saipan Seventh-day Adventist School’s Lego robotics team finished first in two categories, while coming in as runner-up in another in last Sunday’s 10th Annual North Pacific Regional Robotics Challenge at the Walla Walla Valley Academy in College Place in Washington.
Only three of the five members of the team went to Walla Walla, Washington. Sixth grader Rannon Palacios and fifth graders Sion Park and Miles Timmons made the trip with coach Melanie Stroud. Cory Lee and Harvey Zhang are the other team members.
Team SDA won first place in the Robot Design category with their Project Presentation—on the research of turning waste to energy—also earning top honors. They clinched runner-up honors in Core Values/Teamwork.
The team also finished second overall out of 15 other SDA schools that competed in the regional’s and earned enough points to get invited to the nationals in Sacramento, California later this month.
Judges and organizers give different topics every year. For this year, the mission is all about recycling, the reuse and reduction of trash. Teams earn points in completing each mission and get deductions for failing to accomplish it.
The team is expected to be back on Saipan on Wednesday night. They left Saipan last Thursday where they first headed to Guam, then took a more than eight-hour flight to Honolulu then to Seattle. They drove from Seattle to Walla Walla.
The Adventist Robotics League and Walla Walla University’s Edward F. Cross School of Engineering organizes and sponsors the annual event in cooperation with the First Lego League and the Junior FLL.
The annual robotics challenge gathers all the Adventist schools in North America where the CNMI is part of the region. The Saipan SDA team, which joined for the first time, competed against other students from the fourth to eighth grades.
The ARL was formed in 2002 to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to students. The competition helps students with their analytical thinking and teaches them to appreciate the sciences and math.
MEGAbyte Saipan, Saipan SDA Dental Clinic with the doctors and staff, Café Mango Six, and Best Sunshine International, Ltd. helped out in funding the team’s trip to Washington.