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  • Hawaii High School Wins Prestigious Award at World Robotics Championship

Hawaii High School Wins Prestigious Award at World Robotics Championship
Kalani High School recognized for outstanding outreach into the community

HONOLULU - After an exciting three days of competition, the 2012 FIRST Championship robotics competition ended today with Kalani High School receiving the Making FIRST Accessible Award. The Kalani Falcon's outreach into the community and ability to introduce robotics to new people of all ages, were a few of the reasons they received the award. Total, seven Hawaii High Schools competed in the event in St. Louis, from April 25-28. Waialua High and Intermediate, Kealakehe High School, Island Pacific Academy, Punahou School, Baldwin High School, Kalani High School, and Kohala High School competed at the Edward Jones Dome.

All of the teams competed well in their division, and Waialua High School made it to the semifinals of the Archimedes division, representing Hawaii well. Waialua has won the FIRST Hawaii Regional two years in a row, and was awarded the 2011 Championships Chairman's award last April.

"The interest in STEM education that this program instills is not only important for preparing these student for their future careers, it is important for Hawaii, as they are future leaders of our state. Hawaii has a bright future ahead with these students at the helm," said Corrie Heck, Hawaii ROC Coordinator. "To say the least, Hawaii can be proud with how these students represented our state."

The teams will be flying back to Hawaii tomorrow, and preparing for the next robotics competition at the Hawaii Botball Tournament on May 12 at the Hawaii Convention Center.

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Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $14 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC ) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC ) for high-school students, FIRST LEGO League (FLL ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL ) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious Professionalism is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to


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 have joined together to form the Hawai`i Robotics Organizing Committee. This is the first time all six of the robotics programs are coordinating efforts to promote robotics education in elementary, middle and high schools statewide.

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. We believe that by strengthening these aptitudes and abilities in our young people, we will build a brighter future for our state.

Friends of Hawai'i Robotics is a non-profit organization designed to help Hawai'i school's and their robotics programs. The Robotics Organizing Committee (ROC) is run through the Friends of Hawai'i Robotics. ROC was formed from the sought out need in STEM education for Hawaii's schools. ROC combines together the six different robotic programs: FIRST Robotics, Botball, FIRST LEGO League, Underwater ROV, VEX Robotics and Micro Robots. The use of robotics engages students in science, technology, engineering and math. ROC believes that by strengthening these aptitudes and abilities in our young people, we will build a brighter future for our state.

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