Local students on way to ‘Super Bowl’ of science fairs

| February 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

By Heidi Jenkins

Seventeen Molokai High School students and 15 Molokai Middle School students were among the 125 science projects and displays that competed at the 53rd annual Maui Schools Science and Engineering Fair last Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center.

In last year’s State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama said: “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.” Students presenting their science fair projects may not have remembered the President’s speech, but their hard work and discipline definitely paid off.

The top high school winner was Moriah Jenkins, a senior at Molokai High School. As the top senior project, she will represent Maui County at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May in Pittsburgh, PA. The Intel ISEF is the "Super Bowl" of science fairs with the top prize winning a $100,000 scholarship. Over $4 million in scholarships are distributed at this event every year.


MHS Science teacher Lee DeRouin celebrated his students. “I was very proud of how our team prepared and presented their material to the judges. Throughout the event you could feel the confidence in the students that it was going to be a special day. We have had some success at the Science Fair in the past, but this year’s team surpassed all expectations.”

Snatching 15 awards were students: Michael Kikukawa, Michael Onofrio, Xrystina Bicoy, Sarah Jenkins, Ka‘i Blevins, Makana Kaholoa‘a, Jake Sakamoto, Brittanie Nerveza, Paul Parker, Robert Onofrio, and Moriah Jenkins. Dominating three of the five Senior Division spots that will advance to the Hawaii State Science Fair in April are team Jake/Brittanie, team Paul/Robert and Moriah.

“It was amazing not only to have the Top Senior Project won by Molokai High School senior, Moriah Jenkins, but for so many members of the team to receive Special Merit Awards for their projects was simply awesome,” said DeRouin. As the top senior project, Moriah will also represent Hawaii at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair this May in Pittsburgh, Penn. showcasing her project on myoelectric prosthesis for dogs.

Students, teachers and parents would like to thank all the people that made the Science Fair possible and put in the time to work with the students in and out of the classroom. Mahalos go out to Alicia Bicoy for networking with and gathering Molokai scientists and engineers to mentor students at the Hana Hou Tuesdays.

Junior Michael Kikukawa shared how mentoring improved his project advancing it to a more competitive level. “Uncle Ray Skrocke explained the process of how an electric grid works which enabled us to answer detailed judges’ questions. In addition, we updated our presentation board and research paper, and considered next steps for our project.”

Special recognition also goes out to the efforts of Molokai Middle School students: Giesha Nunez, Oceana Madani, Kea’a Davis, Sabrina Curtis, Kanani Ah Van, Lily Jenkins, and Momi Afelin who were among seven Molokai Middle School students to receive awards. Way to go girls!

Molokai will send 37.5 percent (three of eight students) of the Maui County students to the state event.

Below is a list of all the top award winners:

Top Senior Division Award
Pet Prosthesis
Moriah Jenkins, Gr. 12 – Molokai High

Top Junior Division Award
Limu’s Hidden Antibacterial Potential: Do Some Marine Algae in Hawaii have Antibacterial Properties?
Chayse Tamaki, Gr. 7 – Iao Intermediate

Merit Award Winners

1) Pet Prosthesis
Moriah Jenkins, Gr. 12 – Molokai High

2) Limu’s Hidden Antibacterial Potential: Do Some Marine Algae in Hawaii have Antibacterial Properties?
Chayse Tamaki, Gr. 7 – Iao Intermediate

3) Survival of the Fittest
Karina Bhattacharya, Gr. 8 – Doris Todd

4) Plant Medicine In Aquaponics
Devynn Leigh Kochi, Gr. 8 – Doris Todd

5) Purpose-Build Electric Vehicle
Dominic Mills, Travis Taylor, Sage Trudeau, Gr. 12 – Seabury Hall

6) Up In Smoke
Jake Sakamoto, Brittanie Nerveza, Gr. 11 – Molokai High

7) Spectral Light Curve Analysis of a Supernova
Riley Camp, Gabriel Salazar, Gr. 10, Christopher Kim, Gr. 9 – Maui High

8) Resolution to Fringing Reef
Paul Parker, Robert Onofrio, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

HONORABLE MENTION
1) The Effects of Housing on Domesticated Chicken Eggs
Kea`a Davis, Gr. 8 – Molokai Middle
2) Electrified Plants: Does Electricity Affect Plant Growth?
Joshua Acidera, Gr. 7 – Iao Intermediate
3) Solar Energy to Pump Water During Crisis
Michael Kikukawa, Michael Onofrio, Gr. 11 – Molokai High
4) Catch the Wind
Keoni Lee, Gr. 7 – Doris Todd

Specialized Awards

Masonic Lodge Award
Pet Prosthesis
Moriah Jenkins, Gr. 12 – Molokai High

Maui Electric Award
Junior Division
Catch the Wind
Keoni Lee, Gr. 7 – Doris Todd

Senior Division
Biomass to Biogas
Anna Gragas, Tamra Takemoto, Gr. 11 – King Kekaulike High

Monsanto Hawaii
Plant Medicine in Aquaponics
Devynn Leigh Kochi, Gr. 8 – Doris Todd

American Meteorological Society
Resolution to Fringing Reef
Paul Parker, Robert Onofrio, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

American Psychological Association
Can You Balance With Music On?
Kananiokeola Ah Van, Gr. 7 – Molokai Middle

ASM Materials Education Foundation
Resolution to Fringing Reef
Paul Parker, Robert Onofrio, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

Association for Women Geoscientists
Beyond the Beaches
Xrystina Bicoy, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

Mu Alpha Theta
Spectral Light Curve Analysis of a Supernova
Riley Camp, Gabriel Salazar, Gr. 10, Christopher Kim, Gr. 9 – Maui High

National Society of Professional Engineers
Purpose-Built Electric Vehicle
Dominic Mills, Travis Taylor, Sage Trudeau, Gr. 12 – Seabury Hall

NOAA
Let’s Go Fly a Kite
Sarah Jenkins, Gr. 9 – Molokai High

Ricoh
Solar Energy to Pump Water During a Crisis
Michael Kikukawa, Michael Onofrio, Gr. 11 – Molokai High

Yale Science & Engineering Association Inc
Solar Energy to Pump Water During Crisis
Michael Kikukawa, Michael Onofrio, Gr. 11 – Molokai High

U.S. Metric Association
In-bound Wave
Hokualaka`i Blevins, Gr. 11, Emmit Kaholoa`a, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

U.S. Air Force Awards
Pet Prosthesis
Moriah Jenkins, Gr. 12 – Molokai High
Purpose-Built Electric Vehicle
Dominic Mills, Travis Taylor, Sage Trudeau, Gr. 12 – Seabury Hall
Up In Smoke
Jake Sakamoto, Brittanie-Rae Nerveza, Gr. 11 – Molokai High
Spectral Light Curve Analysis of a Supernova
Riley Camp, Gabriel Salazar, Gr. 10, Christopher Kim, Gr. 9 – Maui High

Category: maui county, News, Schools

About the Author ()

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *