Hanalani, Waialua High Take Robotics Titles

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - August 04, 2010
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Waialua High’s team took the top slot during the state’s First Robotics Competition and was the only Hawaii school invited to the 2010 Indianapolis competition - which they also won. Photo from Waialua High School.

Hanalani Schools and Waialua High each took first place in recent robotics contests on the Mainland, with Hanalani dominating the Global Conference on Educational Robotics’ International Botball Competition in Illinois and the Waialua Bulldogs winning the Indianapolis Robotics Invitational.

At the close of intense competition July 7-11, the Mililani private school emerged as the undefeated new world champion among 64 teams from around the nation and the globe.

“Obviously we were really excited,” says Chenfu Chiang, Hanalani’s robotics teacher and head of its STEM Academy. “Since we’re such a small school, it gives us good name recognition and makes us extremely proud to represent Hawaii at the same time.”

Waialua High is Hawaii’s only robotics team invited to the 2010 Indianapolis competition, where the students were part of a three-team alliance to win it all in a World Cup-inspired soccer tournament played by the teams’ autonomous robots.

“It’s probably one of the greatest accomplishments for our team in our 11-year history,” said Waialua coach Glenn Lee.

Waialua’s 150-pound “Poi Pounder X” had a leg for kicking and an arm for maneuvering across the field, scoring well for the three-bot team. The event drew 79 selected U.S. high schools.

Hanalani and Waialua both were at the state’s Regional Botball Tourney in May as well, along with 38 other teams. Hanalani emerged overall double elimination and seeding match winner and set a national record for highest score during seeding rounds.

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