Punahou Robotics Teams Excel at States

By Edward Kinnear, Design Technology and Engineering Academy Department Head

Congratulations to the Punahou Robotics teams who competed in the FTC Robotics State Championship Tournament on Saturday. The innovative teams represented Punahou with gracious professionalism and showed immense character. The teams have been working productively together since August to design and build their robots and compete against teams from across Hawai‘i at six different robotics league events.

Team 5159 X-Bots won the Inspire Award and will be advancing to the World Championship Event in April in Houston, Texas, to represent Punahou and Hawai‘i as the State Champions. The team built an extraordinary robot which earned record-breaking scores. They were also recognized for the inspirational outreach work they did teaching robotics to younger local teams and supporting a new team in South Africa. The engineering journal they created as a portfolio to catalog their work as a team was also exceptional and recognized by the judges as exemplary.

Team 5159 X-Bots, left to right: (top row) Anna Zheng ’24, Iris Xu ’24, (middle row) Ian Kuo ’24, Bren Nakata ’24, Edward Zheng ’24, Albert Zheng ’24, (bottom row) Coach Edward Kinnear, Ethan Jackson-Shirey ’24, Brayden Banquil ’24, Josh Chung ’24, Blake Uramoto ’80

Congratulations to Junior School team #20060 Explosive Aioli who won the Design Award and also became Hawai‘i State Champions with Team Waffles from Assets School. This young team demonstrated an amazing level of robotics design and performance throughout the season, winning matches against many teams with more experience. This team also distinguished themselves by winning the sought-after Design Award.

Team 20060 Explosive Aioli, left to right: Bradley Sumida ’28, Vincent Lau ’28, Wyatt Endow ’28, Coco Heahlke ’28. (Not pictured: Coach Weyland Bailey)

Well done to Team 6962 Pokebolts who persevered through many challenges and made it to the State Championship event. This team worked extremely well together, their work ethic and level of commitment to producing a fantastic robot was inspirational.

Team 6962 Pokebolts, from left to right: Mitchell Atebara ’24, Joshua Oyadomari-Chun ’24, Jayden Leung ’26, Jason Leung ’24, Nicholas Williams ’25, Isaiah Tanaka ’25, Sami Miyashiro ’24, Joshua Yang ’25, Noah Matsuda ’24. (Not pictured: Malia Okamoto ’23)

Well done to Junior school teams 20063 and 20061, who are both brand new teams and won tournaments against many older more experienced teams to make it to the State Championship Event. These two inspirational teams showed courage, determination and spirit throughout the season, always rising to any challenge, and making it extremely far in such a competitive arena of robotics innovation.

Team 20063, from left to right: Kiana Xu ’28, Emily Waffen ’28, Calista Kaneshige ’28, Coach Jillian Ma

Team 20061, from left to right: Ian Jun ’27, Daniel Kim ’28, Everest Martinez ’27, Neal Sehgal ’27, Coach Weyland Bailey, who also coaches 20060 

Well done to all of the amazing Punahou teams!

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