Central Schools Saving The World With Robots

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - May 26, 2010
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Hanalani School was the overall winner at the Hawaii Regional Botball Tournament May 1 at Hawaii Convention Center,where 400 students from 37 schools competed to save the world from environmental disaster, armed only with a pair of autonomous robots.

Sound familiar?

The Mililani private school also earned best online documentation, overall judges’ choice and outstanding overall design. Mililani Middle School claimed the second-place alliance award, and Wahiawa Middle School won the titles for outstanding middle school,outstanding online documentation and the spirit award.

The students spent months researching and designing ways to deal with an earthquake that caused an oil pipeline to rupture. That in turn sent thousands of gallons of oil into the pristine “Lake Capek.“To succeed, teams had to apply absorbents to the oil slicks and rescue, clean and release oil-contaminated ducks and frogs - all in less than 120 seconds.

Sponsored by the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics,Botball engages students’understanding of science, technology,engineering and math (STEM) principles by challenging them to focus on computer programming, system design,sensing and engineering to create two autonomous (no remote control) robots that work together to complete tasks.

To learn more about robotics education in Hawaii and view photos of the competition, visit www.botball.org/hi.

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