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Ka‘u team in Atlanta for 2010 FIRST Robotics Championship

Hawaii students apply science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills at First Robotics Championships — Day 2 Update

Waialua and McKinley in quarterfinal division competitions

ATLANTA, Ga. – More than 100 Hawaii students from seven high school FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics teams represented the Aloha State at the FIRST Robotics World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend.

After nearly 150 qualifying matches, Waialua High School competed in the quarter finals in the Archimedes Division and McKinley High School competed in the quarter finals in the Curie Division.

“The incredible perspective which our seven Hawaii teams have gained here will strengthen Hawaii’s already outstanding robotics programs,” said Brig. Gen. Gary Ishikawa, FIRST in Hawaii Regional Director. “Every student in the state of Hawaii should have the chance to experience this event. Seeking this opportunity, students and teachers statewide are joining the effort to expand robotics education in Hawaii.”

In the four divisions of 344 total teams from across the globe, the final standings of the Hawaii teams at the championships are:

* Curie Division:
McKinley High School – 13 of 86 teams
McKinley was selected as an alliance member and competed in the quarter finals of the Curie Division.

* Galileo Division:
Campbell High School – 77 of 86 teams
Sacred Hearts Academy – 41 of 86 teams

* Newton Division:
KauaiBots* – 42 of 86 teams
Ka‘u High School – 63 of 86 teams
(KauaiBots are comprised of students from Island School, Kauai High, Kapaa High and Waimea High on the island of Kauai.)

* Archimedes Division:
Waialua High School – 42 of 86 teams
Kalani High School – 84 of 86 teams
Waialua was selected as an alliance partner and competed in the quarter finals of the Archimedes Division.

“Just by attending the championships, we have learned so much about how to expand our robotics program and how to build better robots. We are so excited for next year!” said Eric Tashima, Kalani High School Robotics team member.

Punabots Blue, Hawaii’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) state champions, also represented the Aloha State in Atlanta and finished seventh out of the more than 80 teams in the robot competition portion of the FLL games.

Day 1 Update

Hawaii Student Awarded “Dean’s List” Recognition

The Ka‘u robotics team at the 2010 Hawaii Regionals. Photo courtesy of Robotics Organizing Committee

ATLANTA, Ga. – At the end of the first day of competition at the FIRST Robotics Championships, the seven participating Hawai‘i high school teams are representing their home state with pride and aloha.

The Championships are host to 344 teams from across the globe and are divided into four divisions. The Hawai‘i teams’ standings are:

Curie Division:
McKinley High School – 21 of 86 teams

Galileo Division:
Campbell High School – 69 of 86 teams
Sacred Hearts Academy – 47 of 86 teams

Newton Division:
KauaiBots – 29 of 86 teams
Ka‘u High School – 73 of 86 teams

Archimedes Division:
Waialua High School – 40 of 86 teams
Kalani High School – 86 of 86 teams

The teams continue qualifying matches through noon on Saturday, at which time alliances will be selected for the division finals, followed by the championship finals.

Also today, Hawaii was proud to have one of its students recognized as one of FIRST Robotics’ “Best of the Best.” Caitlin Mori, a senior at Sacred Hearts Academy, was recognized as one of 10 students on the inaugural FIRST Dean’s List.

The FIRST Dean’s List was started by Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Robotics, as a way to celebrate outstanding student leaders whose passion for, and effectiveness at attaining, FIRST ideals is exemplary.

Of the more than 500 applications and essays submitted nationwide, ten students were recognized as FIRST Dean’s List Student Superstars. Caitlin, captain of the Sacred Heart’s Academy FIRST Robotics team, was selected as an early applicant to Yale and will begin her freshman Bulldog year this coming fall. Caitlin will also receive a scholarship from the Kamen family.

Punabots Blue, Hawaii’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) state champions, also represented the Aloha State in Atlanta. The FLL World Festival finished competition matches today and awards and finalists will be named at Saturday’s awards ceremony.

FIRST is one of six major educational robotics programs in the state. Recognizing the importance of promoting robotics at an early age and sustaining students’ interest in STEM education throughout their schooling, Hawaii’s six robotics programs (FIRST Robotics, Botball, Underwater ROV, VEX Robotics, Micro Robotics, FIRST LEGO League) have joined together to form the Hawaii Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC).

As a critical component of the Hawaii Innovation Initiative, 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.

Follow the Hawaii students’ progress at the FIRST Robotics Competition at the ROC’n Robots blog on The Honolulu Advertiser website at: www.rocnrobots.honadvblogs.com

Watch the competition live at www.usfirst.org

Photos of the competition can be found at www.hawaiiroc.org

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