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Sunday, December 5, 2010
Six Hawaii Robotics teams advance to World Championship
By News Release @ 11:40 AM :: 9423 Views :: Maui County, Energy, Environment, National News, World News

Third Annual Pan-Pacific VEX Robotics Championship is Largest VEX Tournament in the World

News Release from

HONOLULU – One hundred and twelve teams of middle and high school robotics students from Hawai‘i, California, Nevada and China put their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to the test for the past three days in a friendly, spirited competition that pitted robots against robots, and showcased students’ ingenuity, teamwork and ability to think analytically under pressure.

Throughout the third annual VEX Robotics Pan-Pacific Championship, which started Thursday and wrapped up today at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, 196 qualifying matches took place between two divisions of 112 student teams from Hawai‘i, mainland and Chinese schools. Teams squared off in the game of “Round Up.”  The game is played on a 12’x12’ square field. Two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a twenty-second autonomous period followed by two minutes of driver-controlled play.  The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent alliance by scoring tubes upon goalposts, owning goalposts and by low hanging or high hanging from the ladder. A bonus is awarded to the alliance that has the most total points at the end of the Autonomous Period.

The winning alliance of the HECO Division included ‘Iolani School, Bellarmine Preparatory Academy (Team A) and Bellarmine Preparatory Academy (Team B) from San Jose, California.  Waiakea High (Team A), Waiakea High (Team B) and Tianjin Nankai Huanghedao Primary School (Tianjin, China) took second place in the HECO Division. 

The ROC Division champions included Island School, Radford High and Waialua High.  Honoka‘a High, Radford High and Waialua High earned second place in the ROC Division.

The champion alliance of the HECO and ROC Divisions competed in the high-stakes final championship rounds. In the end, the three-team alliance from ‘Iolani School, Bellarmine Preparatory Academy (Team A) and Bellarmine Preparatory Academy (Team B) from San Jose, California took the top honors, finishing as the Pan-Pacific Champions.

Six Hawai’i schools who competed at the Pan Pacific Championship qualified to advance to the VEX Robotics World Championship that will take place at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, April 18-20, 2011, including:

  • • Highlands Intermediate School
  • • ‘Iolani School
  • • Island School
  • • Radford High
  • • Waiakea High
  • • Waialua High

At the World Championship, these winning teams will have the opportunity to challenge their top-ranked peers from other countries around the world, including teams from the Asian Robotics League, South America and Europe.

Other award-winning teams include:

  • · ‘Iolani School – Robot Skills Champion
  • · Kaiser High School – Robot Skills, second place
  • · Highlands Intermediate School – Programming Skills Champion
  • · Moanalua High School – Programming Skills, second place
  • · Subsidiary Primary School of Nanhai Experimental Middle School (Nanhai, China) – Judges’ Award for Youth Potential
  • · Molokai High School (Teams A and B) – Judges’ Rookie Award
  • · Highlands Intermediate School – Think Award
  • · Mid-Pacific Institute (Teams A and B) – Energy Award
  • · Waialua High School – Judges’ Award - Program Sustainability
  • · Kohala High School – Judges’ Award - Best Team Image Award
  • · Baldwin High School – Judges’ Award - “Go For Broke”
  • · Waiakea High School – Judges’ Award - Innovation
  • · Hefei No. 1 High School (Hefei, China) – Build Award
  • · Castle High School – Create Award
  • · Farrington High School (Teams A, B and C) – Sportsmanship Award
  • · ‘Iolani School – Amaze Award
  • · Highlands Intermediate School – Excellence Award (Middle School)
  • · Waiakea High School – Excellence Award (High School)

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

VEX Robotics is one of six major programs in which Hawai‘i students can participate.  The six programs include VEX, FIRST Robotics, FIRST LEGO League, Botball, 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 earlier this year joined together to form the Hawai‘i Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC).  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. 

To learn more about student robotics in Hawai‘i, visit

Other upcoming robotics events:

· Hawai’i FIRST LEGO League (FLL) State Championships, December 11, 2010, Neil S. Blaisdell Center, Honolulu – 48 Hawai’i elementary and middle school teams will compete for the title of FLL State Champions and earn a spot in the FIRST World Championship.

· FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Kick-off Ceremony, January 8, 2010, McKinley High School Auditorium – Hawai’i FRC teams will gather for the announcement of the 2011 competition as well as receive their “Kit of Parts” to begin the design and construction of their robots.  Teams will compete at the FIRST in Hawai’i Regional Robotics Competition at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s Stan Sheriff Center, March 24-26, 2011.



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