Students and mentors of the PISCES-RISE Robotics Club competed in their first Vex IQ competition at Kalanianaole Intermediate School in late September. Following a break for the summer, the students jumped back into action to get reacquainted with their original robot designs. They have been working hard to prepare their bots for a competition arena and quickly excelled in their programming and piloting skills since the elementary-level team formed.

Working together with PUEO (Perpetuating Unique Education Opportunities) and KOYD (Keaukaha One Youth Development), PISCES coordinated and oversaw the formation of the club in November 2017 to provide more STEM opportunities to East Hawaiʻi youth. The students began meeting to build and program their robots with support from a TMT Think Fund grant, as well as mentors Joel Paye and Teyah Modjeska, undergraduates at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Hilo now has 29 VexIQ teams, making it the largest regional league in the state. VexIQ offers standardized robotic kits for elementary and middle school students around the world. The bots incorporate easy building blocks to create novel designs for competition. Each year, the company releases a new game to challenge teams to work together to meet a specific goal.

The PISCES-RISE Robotics team is looking forward to competing again as this year’s season progresses. Congratulations to teams 33499A and 33499B!