The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

The Student News Site of Mililani High School

Trojan Times

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Great Minds Think Alike: Collaborations Between Mililani Schools

Left to right: Trumpets Rylan Akau-Morgan, Peyton Kahiapo and Skylar Hamasu stand in first position during the City of Lights Parade on Dec. 2.

Over the course of its first semester, Mililani High School branched out to other schools in the district in partnerships across their many programs. A few of these collaborations include the STEM Camp held by the Science Club and Robotics Club, Lego Tournaments by the Robotics Club and a collaboration of bands between MHS and Mililani Middle School.


During this past fall break, Mililani High School hosted a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Curricular Camp for elementary and middle schoolers. Every day of fall break, students came on campus to B and C buildings for about four hours a day, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. With the Science Club’s experience of mentoring middle school students for Science Olympiad, combined with the Robotics Club, the students came together to plan, organize and execute the STEM Camp, which is entirely student-run with teacher supervisors.

“So it’s nice getting to see not only the students who are under my direct supervision grow, but then [get] to see ones who are even younger than them, it’s to see them make sure that the next generation of those STEM learners and students are going to follow in their footsteps.” said John Sandvig, a science teacher and helping hand in the Lego competition collaborators.

The students were mentored on STEM basics and learned activities like building and flying drones. Additionally, this camp also aided in honing their skills in programming and building mechanics for Legos.

Lego Tournament

On Mondays and Tuesdays, the MHS Robotics teams have been visiting Mililani Waena Elementary School to mentor the Lego League competition team in preparation for the very first Lego League competition taking place this year. The students walked over and stayed for about half an hour to an hour, acting as guides for the elementary kids who are building and programming their Legos to do similar tasks that MHS’ own robots do but on a smaller scale.

“So it’s nice to see that we’re ensuring that the next generation is there and seen, cared for and talked [to] effectively,” said Sandvig.

The Lego Robotics tournament was hosted at MHS with neighboring elementary schools competing against each other in teams no larger than 10, and even two teams coming from Kauai to compete in this newly founded competition. The tournament was held on weekends, holding the competitions in waves, which took the whole day to host. The Lego Competition challenges vary by category and grade level. For example, one of the challenges is a specialized mat with additional Lego pieces that their robotic creation needs to interact with in order to complete that challenge. They do this by using a control brick they can send programming into, to control any sorts of gears or mechanisms attached to the project.

MHS and MMS Band

Students at Mililani Middle School learned to drum to their own beat as they joined Mililani High School’s marching band on the big field. The MHS band program reached out to the MMS’ band program, giving eighth graders the opportunity to participate in the school’s marching band. There were in total 20 eighth graders who took the opportunity.

“Well of course, I was intimidated by absolutely everyone in the beginning but I soon warmed up to all of them and they’re all really nice,” said eighth grader Cassera Tomisato, who plays the synth.

At Mililani Middle School, the only band elective offered is concert band so there were several new skills to pick up on. One of these skills came in the form of emoting. Being on the field, the band members are expected to tell a story or express a theme, and part of this comes in the form of not just song but also dance and emotion.

“The high school feels much bigger. It feels like I stepped on a new planet. I spent three years of my life at the middle school and I came to the high school and was like, ‘woah’,” said Tomisato.

There were also challenges that came in managing schoolwork, extracurriculars and personal life. Many of the eighth graders had after school activities such as High Interest Program (HIP) Concert Band at the middle school, meaning they had to go to marching band practice afterward. Students would oftentimes only arrive home from school at 9 p.m.

For more information on the Science Club and Robotics Club, reach out to Sandvig at [email protected], and the MHS Marching Band at band director Derek Kaapana’s’s office located in K102.

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