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Sunday, March 13, 2011
Waialua HS, Sacred Hearts win East Coast Robotics Competitions, head for Championship
By News Release @ 9:50 PM :: 7829 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics


Two island teams advance to national championships; Waialua High School tops New York City Regional Competition

News Released from

HONOLULU – In a science and technology version of March Madness, two Hawai‘i high school robotics teams have secured spots in the 2011 FIRST Robotics Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, April 27-30 after turning out impressive performances at regional competitions on the mainland this weekend leading up to the Hawai'i Regional beginning on March 24 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

More than 100 Hawai‘i students from five island high schools demonstrated their exceptional knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at FIRST Robotics regional competitions, where they went head-to-head with peers from mainland and international schools.

At the New York City Regional, students from Waialua High School earned the competition’s top honors by being named the Chairman’s Award winner in addition to winning the field competition, beating out an impressive field of 65 competitors. As the Regional Champions and Chairman’s Award winners, Waialua has earned a position at the World Championships in St. Louis.

Sacred Hearts Academy earned the Engineering Inspiration Award at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Regional Competition in Massachusetts, earning a position at the Championships this April. Sacred Hearts also took home the Industrial Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories.

Three Hawaii teams were in competition at the San Diego Regional this weekend. Baldwin High School was part of a three-team alliance who were finalists in the tournament. Moanalua High and Punahou School also competed and represented the Aloha State proudly.

Meanwhile, anticipation builds statewide for the 2011 FIRST in Hawai‘i Regional Robotics Competition, March 24-26 at the Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus.  More than 1,000 students on 32 teams representing high schools from across the state have been gearing up for the competition since early January by working with adult mentors to research and construct robots. This year’s event will also feature robotics team from Louisiana and Australia.  The 34 team event is free and open to the public. 

In this year’s challenge named “LOGO MOTION”, two alliances of three teams will compete on a 27-by-54-foot field with poles, attempting to earn points by hanging as many triangle, circle and square logo pieces as possible. Bonus points will be earned for each robot that can hang and assemble logo pieces to form the FIRST logo.  Robots can also deploy Mini-Bots to climb vertical poles for a chance to earn additional points.

A schedule of the 2011 FIRST in Hawaii Regional Competition, list of participating teams, challenge overview and volunteer information are available at

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common engineering problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. The competition allows students to apply academic knowledge and innovation, while developing teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will better prepare them to continue their education and enter the workforce.

FIRST Robotics is one of six programs which are supported by the Hawai‘i Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC), including FIRST, FIRST LEGO League, Underwater ROV, Botball, VEX Robotics and Micro Robotics and supported by the Friends of Hawai'i Robotics, a Hawaii 501(c)(3) organization.

Recognizing the importance of promoting robotics education at an early age and sustaining students’ interest in STEM education throughout their schooling, Hawai‘i’s six robotics programs joined together to form the Hawai‘i Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC). The six of the robotics programs are coordinating efforts to promote robotics education in elementary, middle and high schools statewide.


Photos of the Waialua Robotics team are available on their website:

Photos of the Sacred Hearts Robotics team are available on their website:

Video of the 2011 FIRST Robotics Game Animation:




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