Categorized | Education

Isle high schools to compete in regional robotics contest

Two Big Island High Schools are sending teams to Oahu this week to compete in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition (FRC) Hawaii Regional.

Honokaa High School and Kohala High School will be challenging more than two dozen others schools, including teams from Mexico and the Philippines.

Founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST aimed at inspiring young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.

Student teams in FIRST Robotics solve a common engineering problem over six weeks using a standard kit of parts with no instructions.  

This year’s challenge, “Lunacy”, is inspired by the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11.

“Just as NASA scientists landed a man on the moon and returned him safely to earth in 1969, so too will these young people go on and explore new frontiers and develop breakthrough technologies that change the world,” Kamen said.

In the Lunacy game, robots are designed to pick up 9-inch  game balls and score them in trailers hitched to their opponents’ robots for points during a 2 minute and 15 second match. 

Additional points are awarded for scoring a special game ball, the Super Cell, in the opponents’ trailers during the last 20 seconds of the match. 

Lunacy is played on a low-friction floor, which means teams must contend with a surface designed to simulate driving on the moon.

Winning teams from the FIRST in Hawaii Regional will earn the chance to compete in the 2009 FIRST Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 16-18.

* 33 high school teams in competition

* 24 Hawaii teams

* 7 U.S. mainland teams from California, Louisiana and Wisconsin

* 2 international teams from Mexico and the Philippines

* More than 1,000 students competing

* More than 600 Hawaii students competing

— Find out more:

Robotics Organizing Committee:

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