Kohala High students show their skills at 2017 VEX Robotics World Championship

  • Kohala High Robotics team members Johnnette Emeliano, Joseph Pasco, Jarom Kaimi Hook, Deighton Bell and Sadey Alip share Big Island style aloha with gold flowers, team buttons and local goodies while at VEX Robotics World Championships in Kentucky in April. (COURTESY PHOTO/CHERYL CABRERA)
    Kohala High Robotics team members Johnnette Emeliano, Joseph Pasco, Jarom Kaimi Hook, Deighton Bell and Sadey Alip share Big Island style aloha with gold flowers, team buttons and local goodies while at VEX Robotics World Championships in Kentucky in April. (COURTESY PHOTO/CHERYL CABRERA)
  • Kohala Kowbotics team members Joseph Pasco and Deighton Bell make final robot adjustments prior to their first match at the Louisville competition. (COURTESY PHOTO/CHERYL CABRERA)
    Kohala Kowbotics team members Joseph Pasco and Deighton Bell make final robot adjustments prior to their first match at the Louisville competition. (COURTESY PHOTO/CHERYL CABRERA)

KOHALA — The 10th annual VEX Robotics World Championship, presented by The Northrop Grumman Foundation, brought the top 1,400 student-led robotics teams from around the world to Louisville, Kentucky, April 19-25.

Kohala High School’s Team 2460A, Na Paniolo of Kohala Kowbotics, returned with the Sportsmanship Award for their division. For the second year in a row, they were the only Hawaii VEX high school team to go to the championship and return with an award.

This was the Kowbotics’ ninth time to compete in the VEX World Championship. Five Kohala High students — Sadey Alip, Deighton Bell, Johnnette Emeliano, Jarom Kaimi Hook and Joseph Pasco — competed against nearly 15,000 participants this year.

They learned robotic skills through VEX Educational Robotics, a curriculum designed to help students in grades seven through twelve explore the fundamentals of robotics and the engineering design process while learning to use industry-leading CAD software and VEX classroom and competition robotics kits. With more and more schools adopting robotics as a platform to enrich and enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, teachers need a program that allows them to seamlessly integrate curriculum and hardware into the classroom. VEX EDR involves a metal system of robotics parts and programming to complete tasks for a game called Starstruck.

Na Paniolo qualified for the championships with its robot skills scores during the season. The team traveled to Oahu in August and October, Maui later that month and Molokai in December to compete. The State Championship was held in Hilo Jan. 4 and 5. Kohala High fielded three VEX EDR high school teams and all made it to eliminations and semi-finals.

Community fundraising efforts and events enabled the students to participate in the off island and mainland competitions. Their closing event for the season will be held in conjunction with a showcase of Twenty First Century Community Learning Centers 9 a.m.-2 p.m. May 13 at Kohala High Cafeteria. There, the KHS students will display and demonstrate the robots in their two VEX iq and VEX EDR programs.

Invitations for the annual Mahalo Dinner will be distributed soon. Supporters as well as those interested in robotics are invited to attend.

Info: Email kohalakowbotics@gmail.com or call Fern White at 889-7117

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