A Pre-K through Grade 12 Coordinate School Located in Honolulu

Summon the Sumo

Summon the Sumo

Making robots is an anticipated part of science class for The Priory's Lower School students.

All fourth and fifth grade students participate in a special robotics unit led by Debbie Shintaku, educational technology and curriculum resource teacher. This past school year marked the first time fifth grade students participated in the LEGO Sumo Robot Competition, consisting of a preliminary and final event.

The fourth grade students learned how to write and test programs with the LEGO MINDSTORMS Education EV3 Core Set's software. They also about circumference, wheel rotation and turns and angles.

The fifth grade students use the knowledge developed in fourth grade and then add programming sensors to their repertoire. With a more developed understanding of building and programming the EV3 robots, the students were ready to take part in the Sumo Robot Competition.

"I love the Sumo Robot Competition because it gives students the chance to be creative and apply concepts they learn in class," said Shintaku. "By doing the tournament twice, the students get the chance to see what works and what doesn't and make changes to improve their design and programs, which engages them in the engineering design process."

The competition involves working in a team to make a plan for the EV3 based on size, weight and programming requirements. Building and programming the robot, making modifications so it can perform better and then testing the effectiveness of the adjustments are components of the extensive process.

"I found it challenging that I didn't know what was going to happen during the sumo challenge so I couldn't fix it," said student Sophia Cruz.

Through the planning, students learned that the process was both challenging and rewarding. With the exception of the weight and size limitation, they were able to be creative with customizing their EV3s. Names were imaginative, including Nightmare Sumo, Golden Stegosaurus and Gandolf the Destroyer. Add-ons items included horns, walls and LEGO characters in tow.

"I learned how to code and build the robot which was actually kind of hard" said student Cayden Chun. "I also learned that coding is what is in our electronics."

Winners of the final tournament on May 29:

  • 1st: Team 4 – Sophia Cruz and Reagan Paupe
  • 2nd Team 5 – La'i Reyes and Amanda Goo
  • 3rd Team 3 – Cayden Chun and Juliana Shi

Winners of the preliminary tournament on May 15:

  • 1st: Team 4 – Sophia Cruz and Reagan Paupe
  • 2nd: Team 3 – Cayden Chun and Juliana Shi
  • 3rd: Team 5 – La'i Reyes and Amanda Goo