Baldwin Robotics Wins Hawaii Regional, Heads for World Championship
By Sonia Isotov
Baldwin High School’s (BHS) robotics team and their alliance partners captured the 2013 Regional FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) April 4-6 at the Stan Sheriff Center on Oahu.
BHS alliance partners included Leilehua and Kalani high schools. The three robotics teams defeated an alliance comprised of Waialua High School, Punahou School and Sacred Hearts Academy, and will go on to compete at the FRC Championship, April 24 to 27, at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.
FIRST competitions are divided into two main parts. The first are qualifying matches in which teams play a series of games, each time assigned to a different three-team alliance.
At the conclusion of the qualifying matches, Maui High was the top-ranked Valley Isle team at #5, followed by Lahainaluna at #6 and Baldwin at #11. Waialua High, a perennial powerhouse, was undefeated during the qualifiers, and ranked #1.
Lahainaluna was later eliminated during the quarterfinals, and Maui High during the semis. A total of 37 teams competed in Hawaii this year, including students from California, China and Australia.
In FIRST Robotics, teams are given six weeks to design, build and program robots weighing up to 120 pounds and capable of performing various tasks to score points. Robots may score points during an autonomous period during which robots are operated solely by their programming, and a teleop period in which student drive their robots remotely using game controllers.
In this year’s game, robots scored points for shooting Frisbees in or on various goals, and climbing rungs on a pyramid-shaped structure.
FIRST teams may also compete for a host of other awards, including website design, safety, engineering excellence, team spirit, gracious professionalism and entrepreneurship.
The robotics teams of Baldwin High and Maui High each received a $5,000 grant from the Maui Economic Development Board’s Ke Alahele Education Fund.