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Lahainaluna Robotics Team to compete in FIRST’s World Championships

By Staff | Mar 22, 2018

Pictured at the FIRST San Diego (Del Mar) Regional Competition are (from left): top row — Jericho Olpindo, Dennis Sasai, Seth Richards, Eddymar Cabading, Jayelyn Finn-Imamoto, Anjanette Aveno, Diolo Pascual, Kylee Dean-Kobatake, Randy Arakawa, Veronica Lara Jacobo, Colin Delos Reyes and Tracy Poouahi; bottom row — Cael Yasutake, Jay Baptista and Jenna Swangel. Mentors T.C. Luckey and Graham Seiki are not pictured.

LAHAINA – Lahainaluna High School’s Robotics Team placed second out of 66 teams at the FIRST San Diego (Del Mar) Regional Competition on Saturday, March 10.

The team, consisting of 11 students, competed in several matches over the course of two days and made it to the finals of the event.

The Lunas also won the Judges’ Award, bestowed upon a team for unique efforts, performance or dynamics that merit recognition.

According to FIRST officials, the LHS team “delivered big with a well-designed robot while still maintaining a focus on introducing and inspiring others with little or no previous knowledge of robotics.”

As stated on its website, the FIRST organization is “the ultimate sport of the mind. Under strict rules, limited resources, and an intense six-week time limit, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team ‘brand,’ hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.”

This year’s game, called First Power Up, involved an arcade-like game where students used the robot to score points by placing cubes into various scales and switches.

“The group had been working on the robot every day until the deadline, often until 8 at night,” said lead mentor Dennis Sasai.

“They worked extremely hard, and it’s exciting to see them succeed.”

The team now heads to the World Championships in Houston, Texas, which takes place on April 18-21. They seek the public’s help with travel costs.

“We appreciate the support of our sponsors who have helped us thus far and would be grateful for those who may help us go to World’s,” said Sasai.

To help Team Lunas 3882, contact Sasai at dennis_sasai@notes.k12.hi.us or (808) 281-4852.