We would not be where we are without the dedication of our mentors. Thanks for your guidance!


Justin Brown


“The radical collaboration of a diverse and passionate team always beats the efforts of the lone genius.”
Mr. Justin Brown is the Tiki Tech’s head mentor and coach. He has worked with the robotics team since 2009. He is also the Kealakehe High School’s CTC Coordinator, a math teacher, and jazz band Conductor. He has obtained three degrees from TCU; a bachelor’s in Political Science, Music, and Psychology. He received his MED in Teaching at Chaminade University of Honolulu. He is a Labor Department OSHA General Industry Trainer and Stanford Design Thinking Coach. He helps with the development in FIRST and VEX as well as team strategy program management. In his free time he plays jazz. He also plays in the Hilo symphony, and is a soccer coach.


Chris Ibarra


Mr. Chris Ibarra is the metal shop instructor. He has worked with the Tiki Techs since 2009, and helped build the team’s first FIRST Robotics Competition’s robot. He has obtained an Associate Degree in automotive technology. He helps with fabrication and building. He hopes to pass on to the students problem solving skills and leadership. When he is not helping out with robotics, he is fixing and building cars.



Mike Hauck


“Gracious Professionalism and safety always comes FIRST.”

Mr. Mike Hauck is the technology coordinator for Kealakehe Intermediate School. He has a background on computer repair service from mainframes and large-scale copiers and printers to PCs. He is factory trained by most major manufacturers including Apple, Compaq, EPSON, HP, IBM, Lexmark, NEC, Toshiba and Xerox. Mr. Hauck has mentored robotics since 2006 at Kealakehe Intermediate School. He hopes to pass on to the students the concepts of engineering, design, professionalism and safety. When he is not mentoring, he is playing Hawaiian music.


Rob Hinman


Rod is an electrical engineer who has been passionate about energy efficiency and alternate energy since he was young. He has been working on electronics for twenty years. Through mentoring he helps the students acquire a vast amount of knowledge on circuit boards and other electrical information. He hopes to give back and help the students learn and improve their work.



Kirk Shorte


Kirk is our media, mentor, and marketing rich in photography social media and product marketing skills from his work as a marketing director here in Kona for nine and a half years. Before moving to Hawaii, Kirk worked for twenty-three years in high-end companies, such as Sun Microsystems, Apple Computers, and HP. He retired; 2014 now he has been spending his time pursuing photography through his company: Kirk Shorte Photography.



Roberto Castro


Mr. Castro is the head coach of our Science Olympiad team; he takes much pride in our team’s first place regionals recognition. He is a chemistry, physics, and morning broadcast teacher at Kealakehe High School. He has his BS in biological sciences from UC Merced and he minored in Psychology. He is passionate about helping others and in his spare time he loves to play the keyboard and sing.


Viviana Martinez


Viviana has mentored the robotics team for 2 years. She mainly assists in our M.O.O.D team and has been a great influence on our way of scouting for FRC. Viviana has also been mentoring on our students essays and pages for our books, She has mentored and help with our HI-RES and our Steam Camp with her experience with children.



Diana Navarrete


Diana has mentored robotics for 4 years and mainly assists during FLL and VEX competitions as a Judge or Head Judge. She also helps to mentor students on essays and chaperons meetings. Diana mentors because she believes it’s a wonderful program filled with highly competent students. Diana encourages students to become self-sufficient.



Charlie Sykos


Charlie helped us with the first year ever of TARC (Team America Rocket Challenge). He has a background in Astrophysics , Engineering, and in Model- Rocketry making him overqualified to help us with TARC. He helped in the design and fabrication portion of the project as well as supplied us with the equipment to get the rocket completed. We are very lucky to have such a mentor helping us.



Mark Solien


Mark is our documentation, operations, and outreach mentor; he has helped improve the team’s technical writing skills through his help with the Chairman’s Award essay and Woodie Flowers Award essay. He graduated from UW Madison with a bachelor’s degree in science, and soon he received a Master’s degree in geology. He has been an integral part of the success of our program, and is passionate about the effect STEM education has had on the youth in Hawaii. We are very grateful to have Mark as our mentor.


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