W.A.S.A.B.I. Robotics, winners of the 2011 VEX Robotics World Championship, were the recipients of the Youth of the Year award announced by TechFlash at its 3rd Annual TechFlash Newsmakers Awards, or “Flashies” which honors achievements in the technology industry. Thousands of readers voted on TechFlash.com in reader polls throughout November and the results were revealed during the Experience Music Project for The Flashies.
“We had an impressive slate of nominees again this year which illustrates the depth of talent and leadership in our tech community,” said Gordon Prouty, publisher of TechFlash and its sister publication, Puget Sound Business Journal. “We started this program two years ago because we believe it’s important to recognize local innovation and to honor the people and companies behind the headlines.”
W.A.S.A.B.I. Robotics is composed of an elite group of high school students that is dedicated to competing in robotics at the highest levels and spreading awareness regarding robotics and STEM education throughout the Bellevue and Seattle area. They were honored for receiving 1st place at the 2011 VEX Robotics World Championship in Florida. Additionally, they won two first place awards and the tournament championship at a Space Elevator/ Robotics conference in August and another first place at the Jumpstart Tournament at Redmond High School in November. The team includes Isaku Kamada, Kevin Tam, Ryan Badiee, Julie Eng, Akash Gupta, Grace Hsieh, Kevin Li and Zane Zook. W.A.S.A.B.I is primarily funded by Big Brains Education, a tutoring and supplemental education organization located in Bellevue, WA, along with private donations and matching funds from Microsoft.
David Zook, the team’s advisor said, “I am so proud of this group of kids and their ability, focus, desire and passion. It’s wonderful to see them getting the recognition they deserve for their hard work. This award is a testament to just how special they are.”