HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Held since 2008, The FIRST Hawai'i Robotics Competition (FRC) is an annual competition that challenges high school students to working alongside professional mentors in designing and building robots. Competing in a contest that measures the effectiveness of each robot and the power of teamwork, collaboration and professionalism, the program's goal is to motivate students to consider technology as a career by using robots to solve or mitigate real world problems.
Friends of Hawai'i Robotics will host the 10th annual FIRST Robotics Regional Competition March 31-April 1, 2017 at the University of Hawai'i's Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. More than 1,500 students, representing 36 local, national, and international high school teams, will compete for a chance to participate in the World Championships in Houston, Texas on April 19 – 22, 2017.
Student teams will use their highly-advanced human-sized robots, which were created during a six-week build season, to complete a variety of tasks within this year's theme of FIRST® SteamworksSM. This innovative game invites two adventure alliance teams as they prepare their airships for the ultimate long distance race.
"We are extremely proud that this annual capstone event on the robotics calendar has reached the 10-year milestone by encouraging more students to enter the world of STEM (science, technology engineering and math)," said Lenny Klompus, President of Friends of Hawai'i Robotics. "While the challenge of robot building is exciting as a baseline in innovation, this program creates opportunities for our students across the state to learn to work as a team to solve real-world-life-problems, which enhancing their communications skills. Today, more than ever, students are moving on to secondary education with diverse tools that enables them to build for their future careers in a myriad of fields."
Aside from learning STEM-related skills, students in the program are taught about teamwork and problem-solving to complete the task at hand, Klompus noted.
"By supporting nine programs in the state, the Friends of Hawai'i Robotics Continuum of Education Plan (K-12) is a phenomenal high-tech playground for students to create smarter ways of performing everyday tasks that lead to untapped discoveries," Klompus said. "Robots are no longer science fiction. They are now such an integral part of our lives. After watching 'up close and personal' what our student teams are capable of achieving, we are confident about growing a stronger workforce in our state."
The 2017 FIRST Hawai'i Robotics Regional Competition is free and open to the public. Event parking at the Stan Sheriff Center is $6. For more information on the competition or Friends of Hawai'i Robotics, please call (808) 738-4590 or visit www.friendsofhawaiirobotics.org.
To help raise funds for the student teams' operating and travel expenses, McDonald's restaurants statewide will donate $1 to the school robotic teams for each Egg McMuffin sandwich or meal purchased between March 20-26.