Twelve senior students from Mindszenty High School’s (MHS) Robotics Team, accompanied by the Maris Stella Fifth Grade Class, held their annual race with robot models built and programmed throughout Third Quarter, last Friday afternoon at MHS Gym.
With twelve Porpoise Robotics kits which were lent to the Mindszenty Robotics Team by the Coral Reef Research Foundation (CRRF), the students, separated into six teams, constructed and programmed their robots using the raw parts from the Land Shark robot model kit, prior to the race. The Maris Stella class was also divided among the teams.
This is the fifth year of Mindszenty’s robotics program, and the fourth year that students constructed models lent to them by CRRF. The program was established after Taiwan Small Grants awarded MHS $21 thousand in 2016 for the creation of a STEM robotics program.
MHS and CRRF have since signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to help each other promote robotics in Palau’s schools.
The Land Shark robot models which were used in the competition came with Arduino Mega 2560 microcontrollers, which students used to program their models throughout Third Quarter in order to maximize the speed and maneuverability of their robots.
Teacher Paul Cruz, who teaches the robotics elective for seniors at MHS, said that the Fifth Grade class from Maris Stella was invited in order to have fun with the activity, as well as to build an interest in the science and mechanics behind robotics.
“I believe that full mastery is gained through application,” Teacher Cruz said, adding that he hopes this hands-on activity with the MHS as well as Maris Stella students will help to inspire younger people in Palau to develop interests in engineering science.
He added that, while there is currently no interschool robotics competition in Palau, he hopes that there may be one in the future. Annual interschool robotics competitions have been held in Yap State of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) following the establishment of Yap’s Robo League in 2011, and similar competitions have since spread to Chuuk State.
Friday’s competition included a series of races across the Gym with the twelve robot models. The final winner of the competition was Team 3 with students Landon Sewralur and Marelang Kintaro, who scored 630 points, using robots Luffy and Archie. This was followed by Team 6 with students Alverson Tellei and Delmel Francisco, who scored 600 points, using robots Flying Dutchman and Echo 1-0.
Teacher Cruz says that the Robotics Team will be constructing different VEX models during Fourth Quarter, which will be showcased in the coming months.
Along with lending robotics kits, the agreement between MHS and CRRF also includes taking students on field trips to places such as Jellyfish Lake, to learn about some of the projects the center is undertaking to apply robotics to marine biology research.

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