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Off the News

For Wednesday, May 4, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


Lots of heart for robotics

If you've ever wondered why robotics is so popular, you can probably thank the Waialua High School Robotics Team.

At last weekend's FIRST Robotics World Championships in St. Louis, the team was honored for advancing the cause of robotics and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education throughout Hawaii. As the first FIRST Robotics Competition team in the state, Waialua helped pioneer a movement that has drawn extensive support. Now nearly one-third of local high schools have an FRC team, the highest percentage in the nation. For its efforts, the Waialua team won this year's prestigious Chairman's Award.

Kudos also to robotics teams from McKinley, Waiakea, Waianae, Sacred Hearts Academy and Kealakehe, the other Hawaii schools at the competition.

A dark and stormy night

Was the glass half empty, or half full? Or more aptly: Was the rain gauge overflowing? Mother Nature put on quite a show Monday afternoon and night, twisting twin water spouts off Honolulu Harbor and unleashing torrents of rain and wind that left 60,000 HECO customers without power in East Honolulu, Windward Oahu and other pockets of town.

Whether one was stuck in traffic gridlock or left in the dark likely colored the experience. But for hours, the lightning bolts that lit up the night sky kept many enthralled — even if it did mean, for some, the inconvenience of dinner by flashlight.

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