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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 9, 2010

Robotics students get 2010 Breakaway challenge

Advertiser Staff

Students from some two dozen high schools around the state got ready for the FIRST Robotics Competition season on Saturday by learning about a breakaway new game called BREAKAWAY.

The new robotics game pits two alliances of three teams teams against each other on a bumpy 27-by-54-foot field. The competitors try to earn points by collecting soccer balls in goals. Extra points can be earned for each robot that is suspended in the air and not touching the ground at the end of the match.
The BREAKAWAY robotics game announcement was made Saturday via live NASA-TV broadcast feed and Web cast — connecting Hawaiçi’s participants to a worldwide broadcast audience of an estimated to 50,000 viewers.
“FIRST is about giving kids the opportunity to build skill sets like analytical thinking to then develop what they may or may not use to build a robot; but they might use these skills to become a scientist, engineer, or inventor,” said Dean Kamen, FIRST founder.
Kamen went on to to explain that what students learn from FIRST is unlike what they might learn from some other pasttime.
Working with mentors, the student competitors will have six weeks to design, build, program and test their robots before the engineering challenge begins.
A total of 24 Hawaiçi teams and five visiting Mainland teams will compete at the FIRST in Hawaiçi Regional Robotics Competition at the University of Hawaiçi at Mänoa’s Stan Sheriff Center from March 25 to 27.