Maui News

Lahainaluna and Maui HS Win Robotics Awards

March 26, 2018, 10:58 AM HST
* Updated March 26, 11:01 AM
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Although they did not reach the finals, two robotics teams from Maui earned awards at the 11th Annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition Hawaiʻi Regional held at the University of Hawaiʻi Stan Sheriff Center over the weekend.

Waialua (team featured in this photo), Hilo and McKinley robotics teams will head to Houston next month for the World Championships.

The Luna Robotics team earned the Excellence in Engineering Award and the Maui High Robotics team garnered the Judges’ Award.  Maui High School’s Keith Imada also earned the event’s Woodie Flowers Finalist Award.

The Excellence in Engineering Award celebrates “an elegant and advantageous machine feature” and “stands up to the rigors of competition.”  In order to obtain the award, the team spokesperson must be able to competently describe the engineered features and trace its conception, design, manufacturing/assembly or deployment. The features must also reflect an engineering solution to a specific problem that is functional and practical.

For the Judge’s Award, the judging panel may decide a team’s unique efforts, performance, or dynamics that merit recognition during the course of competition. A team is selected for this award when they keep appearing for consideration for other awards and other judges have noticed and commented on the positive aspects of the team. As part of the selection, a unique happening or feature (often one that demonstrates the team has fully embraced the principles of FIRST ) has caught a Judge’s attention.

The Regional and District Championship Woodie Flowers Awards celebrate effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design. This award is issued to a mentor who effectively inspired each member of the team.


Waialua High School’s robotics team was named the regional winner at the event.  Waialua and teams representing Hilo and McKinley High move on to compete at the World Championships in Houston, Texas on April 19-21, 2017.


With the hope of winning one of several coveted awards, high school students worked with professional mentors to design and build a robot over a six-week period that solved a problem using a kit of parts and a standard set of rules.

“Each team clearly demonstrated teamwork, professionalism and strategic thinking in solving the competition’s challenges,” said Lenny Klompus, President and Chair of Friends of Hawaiʻi Robotics. “With the sustained support of the Hawaiʻi robotics ʻohana – including dedicated corporate sponsors McDonald’s of Hawaiʻi, Alaska Airlines, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Bank of Hawaiʻi – this robotics competition will continue to grow and inspire students to study math, science and engineering.”

Winners of the FIRST Robotics Competition 2018 Hawaii Robotics Regional include the following:


Regional Chairman’s Award: Taipei American School (Taipei, Taiwan), FIRST Team 4253
Engineering Inspiration Award: Hilo High School, FIRST Team 1378
Woodie Flowers Finalist Award: Keith Imada, Maui High School, FIRST Team 2443
Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award: Mark Mavalawski, Regional Planning Committee Member
Regional Champion: Waialua High School, FIRST Team 359; Taipei American School (Taipei, Taiwan), FIRST Team 4253; Grandville High School, FIRST Team 244
Regional Finalists: McKinley High School, FIRST Team 368; Hilo High School, FIRST Team 1378; Rancho Christian High School (California), FIRST Team 4984
Rookie All Star: Sakura Tempesta (Japan), FIRST Team 6909
FIRST Dean’s List Finalist Award: Kanon Nakajima, Sakura Tempesta (Japan), FIRST Team 6909; Ina Klasner, Hilo High School, FIRST Team 1378
Creativity Award: Pearl City High School, FIRST Team 3721
Entrepreneurship Award: Poway High School (Poway, California), FIRST Team 1622
Excellence in Engineering Award: Lahainaluna High School, FIRST Team 3882
Gracious Professionalism Award: St. Louis High School, FIRST Team 4270
Imagery Award: Mid Pacific Institute, FIRST Team 6704
Industrial Design Award: Kalani High School, FIRST Team 3008
Innovation in Control Award: Kalani High School, FIRST Team 368
Judges’ Award: Maui High School, FIRST Team 2443
Quality Award: Waialua High School, FIRST Team 359
Rookie Inspiration Award: Tapei DongShan High School (Taipei, Taiwan), FIRST Team 7069
Safety Award: Poway High School (San Diego, CA), FIRST Team 1622
Team Spirit Award: Kamehameha High School (Kapalama), FIRST Team 2445
Wildcard: Rancho Christian High School (California), FIRST Team 4984; McKinley High School, FIRST Team 368

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