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Here’s why John Boyega and a bunch of droids were at Garfield High School Friday

Garfield High School has hosted some pretty intense competitions over the years. Friday, it was robot vs. robot.

Microsoft held its 2016 Imagine Cup and Robo Cup Hackathon at the 23rd Ave school’s campus and brought along one if its droid-friendly pals as actor John Boyega joined the event as a celebrity judge. Congratulations to Team Greece, by the way, for its Imagine Cup victory with its “novel ICT-based approach for bullying detection and intervention.” Correction: Team Romania came out on top with its “app for monitoring balance and posture.”

The real competition of the day went down in the Quincy Jones Auditorium and Gym where teams from the Garfield computer science club built a fleet of robots for a servo vs. servo battle of tennis ball soccer.

We asked a few of the students participating why they thought the software giant had chosen Garfield to host this year’s event. “As a high school, we have a really strong computer science program,” offered one.

“I think maybe they are attracted by our diversity and maybe our voice that we can use to speak up,” said another.

“A lot of people in the media pays attention to what goes on at Garfield,” one savvy student declared — and we couldn’t argue.

“I think Garfield is a good school to represent Seattle in general,” another summed it up.

As part of the proceedings, Microsoft also announced it was donating $100,000 in Surface computers to Garfield.

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