Categorized | Education

Hilo High and Highlands Intermediate advance to international underwater robotics competition


Hawaii Students Explore the Science of Undersea Volcanoes in Big Island Regional Underwater Robot Competition

HILO, HAWAII Teams of local middle and high school students competed today using underwater robots that they designed and built over the past weeks and months. At the University of Hawaii at Hilo Student Life Center Pool, students used their underwater robots, known as remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs), to navigate the precarious terrain of active undersea volcanoes in a mock setting.

Finishing first place and second place overall respectively in todays competition, students from Hilo High School and Highlands Intermediate School Team 2 earned the right to compete with teams from all over the world in an international contest, which will also be held at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, June 24-26. Highlands Intermediate School Team 1 finished as the first runner-up overall.

This years competition theme was undersea volcanoes and the role that ROVs play in their science and exploration. The focus of the competition missions is the Lo‘ihi seamount, an active undersea volcano rising more than 3,000 meters above the seafloor, located off the coast of the Big Island.

Additional team awards included:

First Ranger Class – Intermediate: Highlands Intermediate Team #2
Second Ranger Class – Intermediate: Highlands Intermediate Team #1
Third Ranger Class – Intermediate: Kealakehe Intermediate

First Ranger Class – High School: Hilo High
Second Ranger Class – High School: Waimea High
Third Ranger Class – High School: Kealakehe High

Judges Award – Diversified Team: Kealakehe Intermediate School
Judges Award – Aloha Team Spirit: Highlands Intermediate School Team #1 and #2
Judges Award – Guts and Glory: Waimea High
Judges Award – Outside Da Box: Keaau High
Judges Award – Engineering Design: Hilo High

Managed by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center and the Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC), the Big Island Regional ROV Competition is one of 19 regional contests held across the U.S. and Canada and in Hong Kong and Scotland.

The following schools and organizations participated:

Earl’s Garage (Waimea, Hawaii)
Highlands Intermediate (Oahu)
Hilo High
Hilo Intermediate
Ke Kula o Nawaihiokalaniopuu Public Charter School
Keaau High
Kealakehe High
Kealakehe Intermediate
Konawaena High
Waimea High (Kauai)
E.B. DeSilva Elementary
Kaumana Elementary

Robotics engages students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and provides them with the teamwork, critical thinking and problem- solving skills they need to compete in the 21st century workplace.

Underwater ROV is one of six programs which are supported by the Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC), including FIRST, FIRST LEGO League, Underwater ROV, Botball, VEX Robotics and Micro Robotics. Recognizing the importance of promoting robotics education at an early age and sustaining students’ interest in STEM education throughout their schooling, Hawaii’s six robotics programs joined together to form the Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC). The six of the robotics programs are coordinating efforts to promote robotics education in elementary, middle and high schools statewide.

Learn more by visiting

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: