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Monday, May 3, 2010
Nearly 400 Hawaii students compete in robotics tourney
By News Release @ 12:58 PM :: 5071 Views :: Energy, Environment

Hanalani School and Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy Earn Top Honors

(Editor’s note: It’s amazing what they can do when DoE bureaucracy is not involved.)

HONOLULU - Students from 37 Hawai‘i schools participated in the Hawai‘i Regional Botball® Tournament this weekend at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Teams of middle and high school aged students competed in the tournament which encouraged them to research, understand and generate solutions to an environmental disaster.  Armed only with a pair of autonomous robots which the student teams spent the last several months conceptualizing, designing, building, and programming, teams competed on a simulated competition field where an earthquake caused an oil pipeline to rupture sending thousands of gallons of oil into the pristine “Lake Capek.” To be successful, teams had to apply sorbents to the oil slicks then rescue and clean oil contaminated ducks, release the clean ducks back into the wetlands, and save the frogs trapped on an island all in 120 seconds with two autonomous robots.

After earning first and second place in the seeding matches and the double elimination finals, Hanalani School and Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy also claimed the overall winning titles for first and second place, respectively.  Highlands Intermediate, Wahiawa Middle and Waiakea High School rounded out the overall top teams.

Other awards presented to competing teams include:

  • 1st Alliance - Kahuka High and ‘Iolani School
  • 2nd Alliance - Hawai‘i Technology Academy and Mililani Middle
  • Best Online Documentation - Hanalani School
  • Judges’ Choice for Best Recovery - Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School
  • KISS Award - Dole Middle
  • Outstanding Middle School - Wahiawa Middle
  • Overall Judges' Choice - Hanalani School
  • R&D Design Challenge - Highlands Intermediate
  • Middle School Spirit of Botball - Kealakehe Middle
  • Judges' Choice for Best Recovery - Kamakahelei Middle
  • Judges' Choice for Best Sound Effects - Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter
  • Judges' Choice for Best Use of Stressed Parts - Kealakehe High
  • Judges' Choice for Close Call - Hawai‘i Technology Academy – Kaua‘i
  • Judges' Choice for Creativity - Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School
  • Judges' Choice for Goodwill - Nanakuli High
  • Judges' Choice for Most Photogenic Robot - Stevenson Middle
  • Judges' Choice for Most Promising Design - ‘Iolani School
  • Judges' Choice for Outstanding Engineering - Kamaile Academy
  • Judges' Choice for Sportsmanship - Farrington High
  • Outstanding Online Documentation - Maui Waena Intermediate
  • Outstanding Online Documentation - Highlands Intermediate School
  • Outstanding Online Documentation - Hawaii Prep Academy
  • Outstanding Online Documentation - Wahaiwa Middle School
  • Outstanding Onsite Presentation - Highlands Intermediate
  • Outstanding Onsite Presentation - Earl's Garage
  • Outstanding Overall Design - Hanalani School
  • Outstanding Programming - Kamaile Academy
  • Outstanding Rookie Team (High School) - Kalani High
  • Outstanding Rookie Team (Middle School) - Kamaile Academy
  • Overcoming Adversity - Kamaile Academy
  • Spirit Award - Wahaiwa Middle School

Sponsored by the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics, Botball® is a team- oriented robotics competition that engages students’ learning of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational principles by challenging students to focus on computer programming, system design and sensing, as well as engineering in order to create two autonomous (no remote control) robots that work together to complete the tasks of the current year’s Botball® game. While Botball® always requires students to use autonomous robots to complete game tasks, the game theme changes each year, which allows students to continue learning through the program.

Botball 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, Hawai‘i's six robotics programs (FIRST Robotics, Botball, Underwater ROV, VEX Robotics, Micro Robotics, FIRST LEGO League) have joined together to form the Hawai‘i Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC). As a critical component of the Hawai‘i 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.

To learn more about robotics education in Hawai‘i and view photos of the competition, visit



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