Hawaii Students to Showcase Robotics at State Exhibition

Hawai'i elementary, middle and high school students will next week showcase their technical expertise and innovative talents at the Hawai'i State Robotics Exhibition.

The students, supported by mentors and teachers, will exhibit and demonstrate robots of all shapes and sizes ranging from 3 feet to 1-cubic centimeter at the event set for 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the State Capitol Rotunda. Among the highlights: underwater robots powered by propulsion, robots built out of Legos as well as racing robots.

The exhibition will include up to 30 current robotics teams from Hawai'i schools, and will give students and educators a chance to learn more about starting or expanding robotics programs in their schools, according to a press release issued by Gov. Linda Lingle's office. It will also provide business leaders and the community an opportunity to learn how they can support Hawai'i's students and ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed to compete successfully in the future workplace.

The event will highlight six major student robotics programs: FIRST Robotics, FIRST LEGO League, Botball, Underwater Remote Operating Vehicle, VEX Robotics, and Micro Robotics. A common denominator among the robotics programs is the use of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to teach students how to solve real-world problems.

The event marks the first time all six of the robotics programs are coordinating efforts to promote robotics education in elementary, middle and high schools statewide. The event coordinators for the six programs are: Alex Ho, FIRST Robotics; Aaron Dengler, FIRST LEGO League; Art Kimura, Botball; Cindy Fong and Mark Rongstad, Underwater Remote Operating Vehicle; Dr. Song Choi, VEX Robotics; and Dale Olive and Eric Hagiwara, Micro Robotics.

"This exhibition supports our administration's continuing effort to ensure every elementary, middle and high school in Hawai'i has a robotics program as a means to foster STEM education, " Lingle said in a news release.

"Each program represents a unique learning opportunity for students of various ages. By joining together in their work to ensure the long-term sustainability of these efforts, the future success of our students will be heightened to a new level."

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