3008 Is Doing Great!


Photo courtesy of Team Magma

Team Magma consists of Kalani students Leilani Phan (9), Kyla Lee (12), Stephanie Lee (10), Kiet Pham (11), Jefferson Young (11), Chloe Ho (9), Andrew Lee (11), Steven Kuna (11), Ashton Birmingham (10), Daniel Shiraki (9), Jesse Jong (9), and Junle Yan (11). Along with mentors like Mr. Silver, Mr. Reid, and Mr. Wayland.

Leilani Phan, Student Life

“ROBOT!” is yelled as Team Magma pushes their robot from their pit to the field. The drive team huddles up as they listen to the coach explain the plan. Now, setting up the field everyone is nervous with excitement. But, Team Magma stands out with both their bright red coats and their drive team hype high fives as the match begins. 

Team 3008, or Team Magma is back in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) business after not being able to compete in an in-person competition for nearly two years. In this 2022 season, Team Magma gains engineering experience in both the workshop and in the arena. 

“Being in FRC is probably a highlight of my high school career so far and is a huge impact on my life,” Andrew Lee (11) says.

FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”. FRC is an international high school robotics competition and holds various regionals in a variety of locations. This year, the Hawaii regional is held at San Sheriff at UH Manoa from Friday, April 1 to Saturday, April 2. 

This year’s game Rapid React is a transportation theme. In this game, a giant hub sits in the middle. The hubs are divided into two scoring sections. The lower hub is 41 inches tall and scores 1 point in tele-op and scores 2 points during autonomous. While the upper hub is 104 inches tall and scores 2 points in tele-op and 4 points during autonomous. You can score points by scoring cargo; a 9in diameter ball into the hubs.

There is also a human terminal that feeds cargo into a robot. Along with a hangar zone which you go for during the endgame. The points range from 4 to 15 depending on the rung you climb to.

The way an FRC match works is the first 15 seconds are autonomous, meaning the robots go on their own. After is tele-op meaning the drivers can grab their controllers and start driving. The last 30 seconds are called endgame, this is the time when most robots start going for the hardest challenge in the game. 

This season, Team Magma had an influx of new and inexperienced members. Making it complicated for experienced upperclassmen like Jefferson Young (11).

“It was really hard this season because we had so many new members so there was sort of a challenge for the upperclassmen when it came to designing the robot,” Young says. 

Just like in previous seasons the team had a six-week build season to design and construct the robot. Team Magma came into the workshop Monday to Friday from 3-7, sometimes coming in on holidays or weekends. 

“The build season was an interesting experience, I definitely gained knowledge and independence during the build season,” Daniel Shiraki (9) says.

They don’t just work on the robot, they also work on getting awards like Chairmans, Engineering Inspiration ( E.I ), and Woodie Flowers. Along with other things like their Magmazine, which is a detailed magazine that goes into the specifics about the team using articles that are written by students.

“It gets kind of stressing sometimes, knowing that everything for our award submissions is due before the robot [during the build season],” Lee says. 

The team originally had a dump, intake, and hang design. Their plan was to go for the lower hub and go to the mid rung. They relied on using the human terminal to feed their dump. But after testing it out and working with it the team decided to drop the dump. 

“It [the dump] just wasn’t working and wasted a lot of time during the match for very iffy results,” Young says. 

So, the team decided to redesign the robot, but keep their hang. The new plan was to design a shooter that still goes for the lower hub, with an intake that picks the cargo off the ground. 

After the change was decided the team immediately jumped into action in designing the bot. They came in on the weekend right before the competition and stayed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

“We were tired but pretty determined to improve our robot for comp and I think that’s what motivated us to go through the long days,” Shiraki says.

Finally, it was Hawaii Regionals. Days full of excitement, nervousness, and joy for Team Magma according to Chloe Ho (9). 

“The first day was pretty fun and I think our drive team did pretty good based on the time crunch of the matches,” Ho says. 

With the new design, the autonomous had a very high success rate compared to the old design according to Steven Kuna (11).

“I think that it’s cause we had so many mechanical problems with the dump that the auto didn’t work,” Kuna says.

Along with that the new design also was able to score about four times the amount of points that the old design was able to. 

“It was nice to be able to sit in the stands and see our drive team doing so well,” Lee says. 

They ended the day by being ranked 9 out of the 24 teams in this regional. 

The second day arrived and Team Magma struggled with their matches as they were getting targeted by defense bots often. 

“It was kind of stressing getting pinned and blocked by other bots when trying to score points,” Young said. “But I think that me, Kiet, and Leilani adapted pretty well to the situation”. 

In the end, they were the 2nd pick for alliance 7. The alliance consisted of Team Magma, Mid Pac, and Maryknoll as the alliance captain.

“Working with our alliance was really fun, and a great experience for me,” Young says. 

After being eliminated in the quarterfinals, Team Magma retreated to the stands to watch the finals and the award ceremony. 

Once the finals were over, the award ceremony began. The award ceremony crowns the winners of the tournament, Chairman winner, EI winner, and more. 

“We’re mainly a chairman team so we were really rooting for Chairman’s award,” Lee says. 

As the award ceremony progressed the team became more and more “anxious” according to Ho. 

“At one point, I believe it was when they were talking about EI I saw Leilani’s handshaking rapidly,” Ho chuckles. 

When they announced that the winner of the EI award was Team Magma, the entire team jumped from their seats screaming, hugging each other, and running down to the field ecstatically according to Lee. 

“ We were all holding our hands together and it took us a while to comprehend that we even won EI,” Lee explained. “But when the announcer said ‘Kaizen’ [their team motto] we all realized and started looking at each other. We definitely weren’t expecting to get EI because of our time constraints and were relying on chairman.”

Now, Team Magma is getting ready to go to the world stage in Houston. Where they’ll meet powerhouse teams and bring their name to the world stage. Worlds will start on Wednesday, April 20th.