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Waiakea Intermediate team shares robotics title

Waiakea Intermediate School’s robotics team and its alliance partner, Highlands Intermediate, combined for a textbook performance Jan. 7 to claim the state middle school championship during the VEX Robotics Competition at Stevenson Middle School on Oahu.

Thirty-eight teams from throughout Hawaii qualified for the tournament. Waiakea was the only team from the Big Island to qualify and compete. The Waiakea and Highlands (Pearl City, Oahu) alliance outmaneuvered some of the top-contending robotics programs in the nation, including Waialua Intermediate on Oahu.

This year, the robotics teams had to create and design a robot to compete on a 12-by-12-foot battlefield, where robots needed to be able to throw a variety of objects over a dividing barrier. The teams also had to program their robots to operate autonomously as well as be remote-controlled.

“The state VEX tournament was a great experience for me and my team,” said Waiakea seventh-grader Autumn O’Leary, the team’s captain. “We had so much fun building our robot and competing with Highlands at the tournament. I am really proud of my teammates and all of our hard work.”

The other members of Waiakea’s VEX EDR robotics team are Kyler Miyazono, Hailey Greenwell, Yusuf Tamimi, Scott Hakoda, Kioshi Todd and advisers Alec Richardson, Jon Kitagawa and Gayle Kamei.

Highlands team members are Sydney Colobong, Keiko Nakanishi, Blayze Ortiz, Joss Picardal, Dana Sakai, Braden Shiroma, Mary Guzman, Cole Leong and Ryden Omine and advisers Joan Okai and Allen Toma.


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