Robotics champs from 22 schools will face off next week in the National Robotics Scrimmage 2020, the culmination of a
year-long programme engaging more than 700 young Māori in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
It is the fourth national programme run by Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi technology hub RoboPā, which has doubled the
number of kaupapa Māori kura (schools) it is working with to strengthen STEM development through the robotics challenge.
RoboPā co-ordinator Thomas Mitai said 110 rangatahi (young people) have qualified to compete in the marathon two-day
national finals after engaging for a year in computational tasks designed to challenge them to solve problems using
The event on 24 and 25 November at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in Whakatāne will challenge top robotics students to
design, modify and manipulate a prototype robot to complete a series of set tasks. The rangatahi are from 22 kura across
the rohe of Mātaatua (16), Waikato-Tainui (5) and Waiariki (1).
“Each team qualified for their place in the 2020 Nationals by winning local scrimmages held at every single one of the
22 kura,” Mr Mitai said. “A total of 736 rangatahi engaged in this year-long challenge. One of the highlights has been
bringing whānau (families) together to experience what their rangatahi are doing.
“A lot of parents expressed surprise – they were unaware of what their tamariki (children) were achieving in this area
until they came and saw for themselves.”
On a technical level, robotics is a test of skill and innovation in technology, design and programming. But competitive
robotics adds another dimension, where rangatahi learn to succeed through critical and strategic thinking,
problem-solving, collaboration, leadership, and communication.
“This is achieved in an environment that focuses on kaupapa Māori values such as whakawhanaungatanga
(relationship-building) and kotahitanga (working together), and the programme is delivered almost entirely in te reo
Māori,” Mr Mitai said.
The following kura will compete in the National Scrimmage:Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kawakawa Mai TawhitiTe Kura Mana Māori o WhangaparāoaTe Waha o RerekohuTe Kura o TorereTe Kura o Papa Te WhaiTe Kura o WaiowekaTe Kura o OmarumutuTe Kura o Manaakitia o ŌpotikiTe Kura Kaupapa Motuhake o TāwhiuauTe Wharekura o HuiārauTe Kura Kaupapa Māori o HurungaterangiTe Kura o TaneatuaTe Kura o TaweraTe Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Oriini ki Ngāti AwaTe Kura o Te PāroaTe Whata Tau o PūtauakiTe Kura o Kawerau PūtauakiTe Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te ArarimaTe Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kaokaoroa o PatetereTe Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tōku Māpihi MaureaTe Kura o Ngāti HauāTe Kura a Rohe o Whaingaroa