Astronaut Elison Onizuka Day!


Today, HVR members awoke early in the morning to set up for Onizuka Day! Onizuka day is a STEM exploration day held annually at UH Hilo in honor of astronaut Ellison Onizuka. At the event people of any age can register for science workshops and visit exhibits by many STEM organizations.

As always, HVR attracted lots of attention with our robots. Onizuka day participants got to come to our station and drive around our VEX and VEX IQ robots, and talk to our members about robotics. We talked to community members about what we do, our upcoming Camp Eureka, and answered any questions they had. Our members also had a chance to talk to people at other booths, such as PISCES and the Institute for Astronomy. Overall our members learned a lot and hopefully we gave back even more to the community.

At the same time at the event was the 2015 TMT Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day Vex IQ tournament. The tournament was a state tournament qualifying competition between 19 teams from the Big Island, Oahu, and Maui. HVR was called upon to volunteer as the game field setup crew. We had the chance to see some outstanding robots and even more outstanding students from the elementary and middle school level. Unfortunately, not many  middle and elementary schools near our area had teams to participate. Next year we would like to start robotics programs at these schools too, so that they can also participate. Overall, we were very impressed with what we saw, and look forward to seeing these students as they grow older.