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Hawaii Prep dominates Hawaii regional Botball competition

Team members, kneeling l to r: Ken Mamizuka, Kazu Kitagawa, and

Team members, kneeling l to r: Ken Mamizuka, Kazu Kitagawa, and Anthony Gand. Standing, l to r: Andrew Hopkins (captain), Jing Zhou, So Adachi, Max Barreto, Bua Rojanai, Wil Johnson, and Kelly Dunston, faculty adviser.

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The Hawaii Preparatory Academy Botball Team dominated the Hawaii Botball Educational Robotics Tournament held May 2 at the Hawaii Convention Center on Oahu. The nine-member team took the overall state title and won two of the three categories: Documentation and Seeding Round. The team also received the Overall Judges Choice Award and the High Score Award and placed second in the double elimination round.

Senior Andrew Hopkins captained the HPA team with Kelly Dunston, Upper School computer science instructor, as adviser. Team members included So Adachi, Max Barreto, Anthony Gand, Wil Johnson, Kazu Kitagawa, Ken Mamizuka, Bua Rojanai, and Jing Zhou. Contributing team members included Seung Jun Ha, Phong Hoang, Alyssa Kelly, and Keanu Yamamoto.

The students worked for three months researching, designing, programming, and building two autonomous robots for the competition, where teams compete in three categories: Documentation, Seeding, and Head-to-Head Tournament.

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Hawaii Preparatory Academy Robotics Team members Andrew Hopkins (captain, in white) and Max Barreto work on their robot during the Hawaii Botball Educational Robotics Tournament held May 2 at the Hawaii Convention Center of Oahu.

Botball provided an incredible opportunity for our students to combine science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in an engaging hands-on project, said Dunston. Our success is a direct reflection of the amazing students we have at HPA. Needless to say, it was a very successful weekend and especially rewarding after three intense months of planning, preparing, and programming.

The Hawaii Regional Botball Program began in 2004 and has quickly become Botball’s largest region. This year, about 800 students on 41 teams from around the state competed at the tournament.

The Botball Educational Robotics Program integrates science, technology, engineering, and math with robotics to keep students on the cutting edge of technology. The Botball Program begins with a two-day professional development workshop where educators and team leaders learn about current robotics technology and how to implement it into their classroom or community. Through the course of the workshop, participants receive all the information about the current Botball game and the reusable robotics kit and components.

Following the workshop, students have about seven weeks to design, build, and program a team of mobile, autonomous robots and document the engineering process online. Participants compete against each other on a playing field in a fast- paced, non-destructive regional tournament. The robots are student built and programmed to maneuver on the game board without the need for remote control.

Botball events currently are held in 13 regions across the nation; there also are two international events in the Middle East. For more information, visit www.botball.org.

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