Forty middle and high school VEX robotics teams from across the state will compete in the first-ever Hawaii VEX State Championship on Dec. 20-21, 2013 at Honolulu Community College. The event is free and open to the public.
â€œFor the robotics teams and individuals, the state Championship is a brand new event comparable to regional Olympics in terms of the level of competition, skill and discipline required,â€ said Art Kimura of the VEX Steering Committee. â€œIn this â€˜sport,â€™ the students are using science, technology, engineering and math skills to maneuver their robots in a fast-paced, exciting game challenge to score points. While they are having fun, the students also are developing life skills that are vital to success in a 21st century global market.â€
During the year, 139 Hawaii VEX teams competed in one or more of the 10 island qualifying tournaments which lead to the Hawaii VEX State Championship. Ten teams from the State Championship will advance to the World VEX Robotics Championship held in Anaheim, CA in April 2014, where 500 global teams will compete.
The 2013-2014 VEX challenge is a new game called â€œToss Up.â€ Teams are tasked to build the most innovative robot possible to score higher points than their opponents on a playing field similar to an athletic court. Alliances of two teams will play timed matches against each other using red and blue colored balls of different sizes that must be placed in designated zones by their robots to earn points.
Volunteers from Hawaiian Electric will serve as judges and also help monitor and reset the field elements between matches.
â€œVEX competitions inspire and motivate students to pursue STEM-related careers and weâ€™re fortunate to have a sponsor that recognizes the value of investing in a new event,â€ added Kimura. â€œHawaii continues to rank in the top 10 of all 50 states in the number of VEX teams participating. This is encouraging news for Hawaii as there has never been a more pressing need for new scientists, engineers and problem solving leaders to help us meet the global challenges facing our future.â€
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About VEX Robotics:
The VEX Robotics Design System offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities spanning science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Beyond science and engineering principles, a VEX Robotics project encourages teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups. The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest and fastest growing middle and high school robotics program globally with 7,300+ teams from 25+ countries playing in 400+ tournaments worldwide.