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Saturday, March 24, 2012
Day One: 1,000 high school students battle robots in annual competition
By News Release @ 4:04 AM :: 4233 Views :: Energy, Environment


More than 1,000 high school students battle robots in annual competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2012 - 9:00 p.m.

HONOLULU - After an intense day of qualifying rounds, the pits are closed and teams are preparing themselves for the final day of competition tomorrow. Over 1,000 high school students from Hawaii, Louisiana, and Taiwan gathered in the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center for the 5th Annual FIRST in Hawaii Regional Robotics competition. Tomorrow, the final day of competition, will decide the six teams who travel to the FIRST Robotics World Championship in St. Louis, MO in April.

"Competition is pretty tight out there, as the teams are getting better and better every year," said Megan Andrada, a member of the defending champions from the Waialua High School robotics team. "We are just going to keep working hard and hope for the best."

The morning started with opening ceremonies at 9:00 a.m., with special guest former Governor Linda Lingle, state legislators, and corporate partners. Qualifying rounds began after, with the teams attempting to make their robots score basketballs into goals in this year's game of "Rebound Rumble."

"Today was really fun, because all the teams have great energy. Hawaii's aloha spirit is in effect, with all the teams supporting each other," said Brianna Acosta, the emcee. "And, it is a very friendly competition."

The day concluded with a wrap up of today's match ups and several awards were given, including:

  • Volunteer of the Year: Corrie Heck, Chief Coordinator, Robotic Organizing Committee Hawaii

  • Imagery Award (in honor of Jack Kamen): Team RoboKap (#2445), Kapolei High School

  • Innovation in Control Award (sponsored by Rockwell Automation): The Lancers (#2437), Sacred Hearts Academy

  • Creativity Award (sponsored by Xerox): The Hot Rocks (#1056), Waiakea High School

  • Engineering Excellence Award (sponsored by Delphi): The 'Iobots (#2438), Iolani School

  • Entrepreneurship Award (sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers): The Falcons (#3008), Kalani High School

  • Rookie Inspiration Award: The Navibots (#4218), Island Pacific Academy

  • Website Award: Team Kika Mana (#368), McKinley High School

  • Regional Woodie Flowers Award: Mr. James Herbert (#2090), Punahou School

The event tomorrow runs from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public. The final matches of competition will begin at approximately 3:00 p.m.

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