18 Hawaiʻi VEX IQ Robotics Teams Qualify for World Championships in Dallas, TX

HONOLULU (Feb, 6, 2023) – Sponsored by Hawaiian Electric, the Hawaiʻi VEX IQ Robotics Elementary and Middle School State Championships, held on January 28 at Hanalani Schools and February 4 at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, qualified 18 out of 67 Hawaiʻi VEX robotics teams that will advance to the 2023 VEX Robotics World Championships.

Hawaiʻi elementary and middle school robotics teams will showcase their game strategy, design and teamwork skills for an opportunity to be crowned world champions at the global event to be held April 25 to May 4 in Dallas, Texas.

Advancing from Oʻahu are Hāleʻiwa Elementary School (1 team), Hawaii Girl Power (1 team), Manoa Elementary School (3 teams), Ewa Makai Middle School (1 team), and Silver Tigers (1 team). A team from Kalama Intermediate School in Makawao, Maui; Kaunakakai Elementary School on Molokaʻi; and a team from Waiakea Intermediate School, Hilo Intermediate School, and Haili Christian School in Hilo also qualified to participate in the VEX Worlds.

At the elementary school competition, Kaunakakai Elementary’s Molokai All-Stars team earned the VEX IQ Excellence Award, while Hāleʻiwa Elementary captured the Teamwork Champion, Robot Skills Champion and Amaze awards. Manoa Elementary won the Teamwork 2nd Place, Design, Innovate and Think awards.

At the middle school competition, Kalama Intermediate earned the VEX IQ Excellence and Robot Skills Champion awards and shared the Teamwork Champion with Ewa Makai Middle School, which also won the Innovate Award.

The double and triple qualifications by these teams will allow six other Hawaiʻi teams – to be determined by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation – to advance to the VEX Worlds.

For a complete list of team standings from two the Hawaiʻi VEX Robotics State Championships, please check out the links below:

Hawaiian Electric, Justin De Lizo of Hanalani Schools, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and Gayle Kamei and Jon Kitagawa of Waiakea Intermediate School were named “Partners of the Year” for their long standing support and partnership with Hawaiʻi VEX Robotics.

Volunteer of the Year honor was awarded to Brandon Teshima and the students of Kamehameha Schools – Kapālama. Teshima and his students filled key volunteer roles at multiple VEX IQ tournaments across Oahu.

Mentor of the Year was awarded to Ms. Andrea Reyes of Gustav Webling Elementary School and Kumu Kaʻimi Nahale-a from Hilo Intermediate School for their dedication and support to their students this season.

VEX Robotics is an educational robotics program that inspires students to excel in STEM principles while encouraging creativity, teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups. This season there were 250 registered teams from Hawaii and over 900 students.

Robotics competitions foster these skills and prepare students to become future innovators as well as increase their interest in pursuing STEM careers. Tournaments are held year-round at the regional, state and national levels, and culminate in the VEX Robotics World Championship. There are approximately 20,000 teams from 45 countries participating in VEX tournaments.

Locally, the Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium (HSGC) oversees the Hawaiʻi VEX Robotics Competitions with funding through the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation. Expanded opportunities for space education through the efforts of the Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium have been focused on the public, particularly teachers and students in grades kindergarten through twelve. HSGC offers various remote and in-person trainings and workshops for coaches, teachers, and students, developing a robotics curriculum for STEM/robotics classes, and mentored teachers and students in rookie robotics programs.

To View More Pictures from the two Hawaiʻi VEX Robotic State Championships, click the button down below for the Google Drive link:

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