Google Is Not Everything…

The Crescendo to Success

Jhanessty Vaye Bautista | Maui High School, Class of 2024

Team 2443 Blue Thunder was established in 2008 and for the past sixteen years, the club’s work in First Robotics Competitions (FRC) has been admirable. In FRC, high school students and their mentors work together to design, build and program a robot to participate in various games; this year, a combination of frisbee and basketball is named Crescendo. A few students give us an inside look into this awe-inspiring program.

Isabella Romero

Starting with three-year robotics member (because of COVID-19), Isabella Romero joined as a builder because of her desire to further her robotics career from previous experience with VEX IQ and VEX in middle school. From her three years in robotics, Isabella shares, “Something about robotics that I will always carry with me is the sense of community.” Robotics became her home, as it did to many others at Maui High as it is to many others worldwide. “Robotics was more than just a team; it was a family. It was a place we could call our second home. Win or lose, happy times or hardships, spending countless hours and days together, our bond is something I will always cherish. Throughout my years in robotics, I am blessed to have such supportive teammates, friends, and mentors who I could always look up to and rely on,” says Isabella.

As a senior, Isabella looks back on the past three years and pinpoints her favorite memory of the three seasons she was a part of: Hawai‘i Regional 2024. “Ranking third in qualification matches, becoming second seed Alliance Captains in eliminations, making it to the finals as Tournament Finalist, a silver medal and second place overall in the tournament. Although we may not have won, robotics has taught me it is not always about winning. The hard work and challenges we persevered through to get to that moment felt even more rewarding. It was a journey with ups and downs but when I looked at my team’s expressions, the loud cheering from the stands, smiles, happy tears, hugs of encouragement and those jumps for joy kept us all going. For seniors like me, for whom this was our last ever robotics competition, these experiences will be something we will always hold in our hearts. Looking back, I am incredibly grateful to be a part of a team of which I am forever proud.”

Dylan Domingo

Next is three-year robotics member, two of which were with FRC, Dylan Domingo. Building on his childhood passion for coding video games, he wanted to dive deeper into the world of programming, resulting in him joining Maui High School’s robotics team. As this is his final year on the team, Dylan reflects on the impact of robotics on his life and future. “Not only will I take the technical skills I learned from robotics into the future but also the teamwork skills that I developed throughout my time in robotics. Developing full-fledged robots in such a small timespan highlighted the importance of working within team settings to be as efficient as possible. Teamwork skills like communication, bringing new ideas to the table, etc., were all crucial skills needed when creating both the robot and its programs.” Dylan’s favorite memory of robotics is not a specific moment or a memory but a feeling. “I will never forget how our robotics program truly defined what it meant to be a team. Our team was united despite all the difficulties and odds we faced this season. Whether it was having each other’s backs whenever we were stressed or even cheering the loudest out of all the other teams in the stands whenever we were playing, the program did not even feel like it was one. Instead, we were a team.”

Roxelle Trisha Mae Magliba

Roxelle Trisha Mae Magliba is also a two-year FRC robotics member who joined out of pure curiosity. Roxelle wanted to challenge herself and leave her comfort zone, so she joined the builder’s department, where she learned how to use power tools and machines. “One thing I will forever carry from robotics is being a leader and taking initiative to get things done. Over two years in the program, I was entrusted to lead projects and operations involving prototyping, routing and more. Through these experiences, I have become a better leader and communicator,” Roxelle says as she describes robotics’ effect on her future and character. To celebrate the end of her robotics career, Roxelle likes to remember what inspired her to join the team. “One memory I will never forget is when I watched our team win the Hawai‘i Regional in 2022 in person. Though I was not a part of the team yet, I knew how hard they worked. Seeing them yell with excitement and shed tears of joy inspired me to want to do what they can do.”

Aleizay Rose Angel

Lastly, sophomore, Aleizay Rose Angel is a documenter on Maui High School’s robotics team, and for the past two years in FRC, she has tracked their electrifying journey. Aleizay joined Team 2443 Blue Thunder because she was previously on her middle school’s robotics team and her initiative and interest in STEM grew. Pursuing her passion in high school, she describes the program as “an exciting field where I can contribute to a strong, hard-working, and determined team and be part of a dynamic, forward-thinking community.”

Although she still has two years left of robotics, the program has left a meaningful perspective for Aleizay as she approaches her future. “Some things robotics has taught me that I’ll take with me in my future is the importance of collaboration, communication, adaptability, perseverance and determination, which are all skills valuable in any field or situation that can be applied to my future and abilities that I will continue to build upon and carry throughout my life,” she says. Only a sophomore, Aleizay has many opportunities to have a new favorite memory. Still, now her favorite is the 2024 Hawai‘i Regional. “One memory from robotics that I will not forget is the feeling of everyone seeing our robot make it to this year’s Hawai‘i Regional finals. The sense of accomplishment shared with my team members will stay with me forever, standing as a testament to the power of teamwork and determination. And even though we did not win the finals, I remember everyone being proud of how far our team has come because we made it further than expected.”

Maui High School’s Robotics Team 2443 Blue Thunder participated in two regionals in 2024. The annual Hawai‘i Regional took place from April 3 to April 6 while the Los Angeles Regional took place from March 14 to March 17. Their most significant accomplishment this year was placing third out of thirty-four teams and making it to the finals. Team 2443 Blue Thunder received an immense amount of praise from their supporters. Having spent seven to eight months preparing for these two First Robotics Competitions, their diligent efforts, the ability to prevail no matter any obstacle and their unwavering disposition allowed them to ride this unimaginable crescendo to success.

Google® Is Not Everything … is a monthly column authored by high school students. The title of the column emphasizes education is more than just googling a topic. Google® is a registered trademark. This month’s guest columnist is Jhanessty Vaye Bautista, a Senior at Maui High School. She is a President of Maui High’s Key Club, Vice President of Maui High’s Filipino Cultural Club, Executive Secretary of Maui High’s Student Government, and a member of the National Honor Society and Creative Media Club. Jhanessty is in the ACOM Pathway at Maui High, focusing on graphic design and entrepreneurship. In her free time, she reads books of all genres, sketches outlines for her new graphics project, sings karaoke alone or with a group of her close family and friends, and loves anything involving the popular video game Minecraft Bee. She is the daughter of Vanessa and Jhon Boy Bautista.