Honolulu Community College students competed in the 22nd Annual Nagoya Micro Robot Maze Competition held at Nagoya University in Japan in November. Competing as Team Hawaiʻi Robotics, led by advisor Assistant Professor Norman Takeya, students competed with students from different countries across Asia.
The students were exposed to the Japanese culture, made new friends with international students, and experienced competing on a world-class level. Honolulu CC was the only two-year college represented in the competition and second team from Hawaiʻi. The other was from Waiākea High School.
“I believe that every competitor in the competition had the same build and design process but different ideas emerged from different teams, some a lot better than others,” shared Jarrett Kahoʻokele, a liberal arts major.
“Although we didn’t place in the top three, I feel very proud of myself and the team for placing 6th and competing in general. We were competing with, and did better than, some four-year colleges,” said Mabel Wong, a construction management student who built a robot that danced Psy’s Gangnum Style.
For Jasmine Hoapili, a Honolulu CC student and IKE Scholar, she found similarities with the Hawaiian and Japanese cultures. “When we visited Atsuta shrine it made me feel respectful, just like the spiritual sites on Oʻahu. It created a desire for me to embrace my culture and learn more about it.”
The team has qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championships to be held in Anaheim, California. They will be competing with 80 other collegiate teams from around the world in April 2014. Last year Team Hawaiʻi came in 15th place, the third highest ranking U.S. team.
Read the Honolulu CC news release for the full story.