Tereora College students Terall Timoti, Tiare Kauvai, Joshua Simpson, Jasmine Naslund and Hellena Faasili along with coaches Jana Robertson and Mii Nimerota represented the country.
The FIRST Global Challenge was focused on developing robots to clean up the millions of tons of pollutants in the oceans produced by factories, mismanaged sewage systems and marine activities, which adversely affect marine life and the environment.
The students chosen were just as ambitious as the robotics challenge, Hellena Faasili, a year 12 student who is interested in film and design is also passionate about saving the earth and fighting climate change.
Year 13 student and student leader Terall Timoti is interested in gaming and programming.
Teams from different countries were paired up in an alliance and robots battled it out to clear the ocean of pollutants. Strategies were discussed before heading into the matches so each team could work together for the bonuses.
Digital technologies teacher at Tereora College, Jana Robertson said they loved every minute of the trip.
“To be placed 30th out of 189 teams is amazing. Our robot was simple but it did its job effectively,” Robertson said.
They encountered some issues with their robot named “Kuki” but technical support at the event was amazing and the students worked hard and learnt so much, she said.
“They loved the culture and experience most of all, meeting new people from all over the world. All the other teams were so helpful and willingly offer help to us.”
Robertson added that as a coach she was proud of what the team had accomplished.
“I am hoping this will open our eyes to the world of robotics and that we continue to develop young children to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics and get some support to form a proper robotic club here in Rarotonga open for all students,” said Robertson.