Local Connection: Hawaii Robotics Competition

By: Rick Blangiardi

This is a shout-out to some great public high school effort in a recent robotics competition.

Leilehua High, working with Baldwin and Kalani schools, won a spot at a national robotics competition next week in St. Louis. What made Leilehua's achievements most remarkable is that this is only the second year that it has been competing and one of its coaches is in her first year of robotics.

Leilehua placed 31 out of 37 teams in the early rounds but moved quickly to the No. 3 spot and the right to choose two other schools to help out. With Baldwin and Kalani's help, the trio bested the Waialua, Punahou and Sacred Hearts triumvirate for a come-from-behind victory.

Waialua will still be going to the nationals by winning another regional competition and will be joined by Kealakehe and Hilo High.

The competition is called FIRST which stands for (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Competition is a multinational competition that has students joining forced with industry professionals to solve complicated engineering design problems. The teams have to build a robot that would toss a Frisbee and scale a pyramid.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't even know where to start on something like that. But I am proud that not only are we competing in these contests but thriving as well.

We all get excited when our local teams make national sports competitions like the Little League World Series but this is just as important and proves to the rest of the nation that Hawaii really doesn't take a back seat to anyone.

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