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Monday, March 8, 2010
“Poi Pounder” smashes competition: Waialua HS wins big in San Diego Robotics meet
By News Release @ 12:14 AM :: 7272 Views :: Maui County, Energy, National News

WAIALUA TEAM BREAKS AWAY TO WIN FIRST REGIONAL ROBOTICS COMPETITION IN SAN DIEGO

Hawai‘i Robotics Teams Gear Up for Hawai‘i Regional Competition, March 25 – 27 at Stan Sheriff Center

HONOLULU – The Waialua High School Robotics team won the 2010 San Diego Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics) Competition held this weekend at the San Diego Sports Arena. 

The Waialua team, also known as The Hawaiian Kids, was part of a three-team alliance that took the top prize at the regional event that featured a total of 49 student robotics teams from around the country.  By winning the regional, Waialua has secured a spot for the seventh time in the 2010 FIRST International Championships that will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in April.

Also competing in San Diego was the Sacred Hearts Academy Lancer Robotics team, which placed 12th overall.

At the regional competition that also took place this weekend in Portland, Oregon, McKinley High School’s Team Kika Mana finished 42nd out of 61 teams.

Three Hawai‘i teams – Waialua, Maui High and Baldwin High – will compete in the Arizona Regional next weekend.

The highlight of Hawai‘i’s FIRST robotics season will take place March 25 – 27, when 24 Hawai‘i teams and four visiting teams from the mainland (Alaska, Louisiana and New Jersey) will compete at the third annual FIRST in Hawai‘i Regional Robotics Competition at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s Stan Sheriff Center.  The event is free and open to the public.

“Through robotics education and participation in FIRST robotics for the past 10 years, the Waialua Robotics Team has consistently demonstrated outstanding knowledge and application of science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – education skills,” said Governor Linda Lingle.  “All of the students who are involved in robotics are gaining valuable lessons in critical thinking and team work, and they are positioning themselves to succeed in school and their careers, as well as to find innovative solutions that will improve the future of Hawai‘i.”

Since January, Hawai‘i robotics teams, along with their counterparts from around the world, have been working with teachers and industry mentors to build robots to meet a specific engineering challenge using a common Kit of Parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, a PC, and a mix of automation components – but no instructions.

This year's challenge, “BREAKAWAY,” challenges two alliances of three teams to compete on a 27-by-54-foot field with bumps, attempting to earn points by collecting soccer balls in goals. Additional bonus points will be earned for each robot suspended in air and not touching the field at the end of the match.

Robotics provides students with a strong educational foundation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and offers them opportunities to solve problems, work as teams and think analytically – skills useful in any career.

FIRST Robotics is one of six major programs in which Hawai‘i students can participate. The six programs, which fall under the umbrella of the Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC), include FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Robotics, Botball, VEX Robotics, Underwater Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV) and Micro Robotics.

Recognizing the importance of promoting robotics at an early age and sustaining students' interest in STEM education throughout their schooling, the six robotics programs, which previously operated autonomously, joined together to form the Hawai‘i Robotics Organizing Committee (www.hawaiiroc.org).  This is the first time all six of the robotics programs have coordinated their efforts to promote robotics education in elementary, middle and high schools statewide.

Photos from Waialua Robotics club can be found on the team website: http://www.waialuarobotics.com/

Information about the robot constructed by the team is attached.

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