Categorized | Education

Honors, awards for isle schools at robotics competition

Koa Hedlund, Kazane Namikawa, Kelson Lau and Nicholas Winters of the Waiakea High School robotics team prepare their robot on the playing field at the 2010 FIRST in Hawaii Regional Robotics Competition at the Stan Sheriff Center. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee)


A three-team alliance made up of student robotics teams from Waialua, McKinley and Campbell high schools Saturday won the 2010 BAE Systems FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics) in Hawaii Regional Robotics Competition and have qualified to compete in the 2010 FIRST Championships that will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, April 15 -17. In total, seven Hawaii teams have qualified for the National Championships.

In Saturday’s final rounds at the University of Hawaii Manoa Stan Sheriff Center, six teams – competing in alliances of three teams – went head-to-head in a high-energy robotics version of soccer. The winning red team alliance included Waialua High School, McKinley High School and Campbell High School. The second-place blue team alliance included Sacred Hearts Academy, Punahou High School and Honokaa High School.

In addition to Waialua, McKinley and Campbell, three other teams have automatically qualified to advance to the Championships by capturing top awards in this weekend’s competition. They include:

Kalani High School, Regional Chairman’s Award
Kauai Island School, Engineering Inspiration Award
Ka‘u High School, Rookie All-Star Award

Sacred Hearts Academy also qualified to attend the National Championships based on the team’s performance in last year’s competition season.

Waialua High School’s “The Hawaiian Kids” team had already earned its spot in the Championship earlier this month by winning the San Diego Regional, followed by a win at the Arizona Regional a week later as well as capturing the Arizona Regional’s Chairman’s Award, the most prestigious award given to the team that best represents the goals of FIRST robotics.

The Friends of Hawaii Robotics on behalf of the Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee will sponsor the registration costs for all seven of the qualifying teams to compete in the National Championships.

Nearly 1,000 students from 24 Hawaii high school robotics teams and four mainland teams from Alaska, Louisiana and New Jersey participated in the Hawaii regional, putting their academic knowledge, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication skills and teamwork to the test in a high-energy robotics competition.

Awards Presented Saturday:

Regional Chairman’s Award – FIRST’s most prestigious award honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. Kalani High School

FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award – Celebrates outstanding student leaders whose passion for and effectiveness at attaining, FIRST ideals is exemplary. Sean Cockey, Iolani School and Caitlin Mori, Sacred Hearts Academy

Engineering Inspiration Award – Celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s school and community. Kauai Island School

Coopertition™ Award – Celebrates the team that best demonstrates the ability to help their opponents compete. McKinley High School

Gracious Professionalism™ – Celebrates outstanding sportsmanship and gracious professionalism in the heat of competition, both on and off the playing field. Farrington High School

Industrial Design Award – Celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively achieves the game challenge. McKinley High School

Industrial Safety Award – Celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards. Sacred Hearts Academy

Judges’ Award – During the course of the competition the judging panel may decide a team’s unique efforts, performance, or dynamics merit recognition. Kohala High School

Quality Award – Celebrates machine robustness in concept and fabrication. Iolani School

Rookie All-Star Award – Celebrates the rookie team exemplifying a young but strong partnership effort, as well as implementing the mission of FIRST to inspire students to learn more about science and technology. Ka‘u High School

Team Spirit Award – Celebrates extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit through exceptional partnership and teamwork. Kauai Island School

Awards Presented Friday:

Excellence in Design Award – Honors clear and compelling evidence of excellence in design development. McKinley High School

Imagery Award – Celebrates attractiveness in engineering and outstanding visual aesthetic integration of machine and team appearance. Camden County Technical School, Sicklerville, New Jersey

Innovation in Control Award – Celebrates an innovative control system or application of control components to provide unique machine functions. Waipahu High School

Creativity Award – Celebrates creativity in design, use of component, or strategy of play. Punahou High School

Engineering Excellence Award – Celebrates an elegant and advantageous machine feature. Waialua High School

Entrepreneurship Award – Celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit by recognizing a team that, since inception, has developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan to scope, manage, and achieve team objectives. Sacred Hearts Academy

Web site Award – Recognizes excellence in student-designed, built, and managed FIRST team Web sites. McKinley High School

Regional Woodie Flowers Award – Presented to an outstanding engineer or teacher participating in the robotics competition who best demonstrates excellence in teaching science, math, and creative design. Glenn Lee, robotics teacher and coach, Waialua High School

Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award – Danny Cook of BAE Systems

The FIRST 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 that included motors, batteries, a control system and a mix of automation components – but no instructions.

This year’s challenge, “BREAKAWAY,” is a robotics version of soccer. Two alliances of three teams compete on a 27-by-54-foot field with bumps, attempting to earn points by collecting soccer balls in goals using their remote-controlled robot. Additional bonus points will be earned for each robot suspended in air and not touching the field at the end of the match.

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.

Gabriel Ramirez, Michael Yoshida (teacher) and Cody Baptista of the Honokaa High School robotics team make adjustments to their robots during the quarterfinals of the 2010 FIRST in Hawaii Regional Robotics Competition at the Stan Sheriff Center. (Photo courtesy of Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee)

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