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Nine isle schools off to VEX robotics championship


Nearly 1,000 middle school and high school students from Hawaii, the mainland and China arrive Wednesday at the Hawaii Convention Center for the 2nd annual VEX Robotics Pan-Pacific Championship.

The event is free and open to the public.

The team-based robotics competition will put students’ engineering and high-tech skills to the test in three action-packed days of competition with robots created from the VEX Robotics Design System.

For the last several months, students, with guidance from their teachers and mentors, have been working together to build innovative robots designed to solve a set of difficult challenges presented in the game.

During the competition, 90 student teams from Hawaii, the mainland and China schools will square off in the game of “Clean Sweep.”

The object of the “Clean Sweep” challenge is for two-team alliances to maneuver their robots to place as many balls as possible onto their opponent’s side of the field and by “locking up” small balls in triangular goals.

This competition will qualify top teams to compete in two additional international tournaments.

Nine teams from the Pan-Pacific VEX Robotics Championship will qualify for the VEX Robotics World Championship in April in Dallas, and 17 teams will qualify for the CREATE Foundation Championship of the Americas VEX tournament in March in Omaha, Neb.

Robotics education is a key component of the Lingle-Aiona Administration’s Hawaii Innovation Initiative, which seeks to transform Hawaii’s economy from one based on land development to one based on the innovative capacity of Hawaii’s residents, especially our youth.

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.

“The University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Engineering has been excited to see the tremendous enthusiasm for robotics and STEM education over the last decade,” said Dr. Song Choi, assistant dean, College of Engineering.

VEX Robotics is one of six major programs in which Hawaii students can participate. The 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 joined together to form the Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC).

Under the ROC, all six of the robotics programs coordinate their efforts to promote robotics education in elementary, middle and high schools statewide.

As a result of this increased focus on robotics education, the number of robotics programs in Hawaii’s public, private and charter schools has increased dramatically in the last two years.

Since January 2008, participation skyrocketed from 95 teams to 334 today – a 252 percent increase.

The growth has been facilitated by the tremendous support from all sectors of the community, including the Lingle-Aiona Administration; Hawaii businesses; engineering and technology associations; the University of Hawaii and community colleges statewide; the state’s public, private and charter school organizations; NASA; the U.S. military; and private citizens.

Competing teams


1.  Aiea Intermediate School

2.  Dole Middle School

3.  Hawaii Baptist Academy

4.  Hawaii Technology Academy

5.  Highlands Intermediate School

6.  Iolani School

7.  James Campbell High School

8.  Kailua Intermediate

9.  Kalaheo High School

10.  Kalani High school

11.  Kamehameha Schools High School Science Dept.

12.  Kasier HS and Niu Valley MS

13.  Leilehua High School

14.  Maryknoll High School

15.  McKinley High School

16.  Mid-Pacific Institute

17.  Mililani High School

18.  Moanalua High School

19.  Nanakuli High & Intermediate

20.  Pearl City High School

21.  Radford High School

22.  St. Andrew’s Priory School

23.  Stevenson Middle School

24.  W.R. Farrington High School

25.  Wahiawa Middle School

26.  Waialua High & Intermediate School

27.  Waipahu High School

28.  Washington Middle School

29.  Wheeler Middle School

Big Island

30.  Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science

31.  Hilo High School

32.  Honokaa High School

33.  Kapaau Intermediate School

34.  Keaau High School

35.  Kohala High School

36.  Konawaena High School

37. Waiakea Intermediate School

38.  West Hawaii Explorations Academy


39.  King Kekaulike High School

40.  Lahainaluna High School

U.S. mainland

41.  Bellarmine College Prep

42.  Chaminade College Prep

43.  Hyde Park Middle School


44.  Xuzhou Youth and Children’s Palace

45.  High School Attached To Northeast Normal University

46.  Nanning Minzhu Primary School

47.  Changping Middle School in Dongguang City

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