Feb 1, 2011

Budding Scientists Shine at Maui Science Olympiad

Maui Regional Director Flaviana Ancheta joins 
Mayor Alan M. Arakawa 
in the proclamation recognizing the 2011 Maui Regional 
Science Olympiad Tournament in its inaugural year.

By CJ Ancheta

Young scientists from middle and high schools on Maui converged at University of Hawaii Maui College to compete at the First Annual Maui Science Olympiad Regional Tournament last January 29, 2011. Dubbed as America’s most exciting team science competition, the Science Olympiad had revolutionized science education.

Acknowledging the gains from exploring the world of science and in support of science initiatives, Maui Mayor Alan M. Arakawa made  an official proclamation recognizing the 2011 Maui Regional Science Olympiad Tournament in its inaugural year.

In her welcome remarks, Maui Regional Director Flaviana A. Ancheta said, “What I like about Science Olympiad is that it involves learning, participation, interaction, having fun and developing team spirit while fostering an interest in science and technology.”

“The kids are excited about science and having fun at the same time which is so important. Everyone had really come together and had a chance to work in a team environment engaging in scientific inquiry,” said Isla Young, Program Manager of Women in Technology of the Maui Economic and Development Board.

Councilmember Mike Victorino had a chance to witness the Bottle Rocket and Towers events. He said, “I think this is a great opportunity for young people to demonstrate their ability and broaden their horizon.”

Based from their experience in participating at various events at the tournament, the students agreed  that they had fun and were able to apply  acquired knowledge and concepts from the classroom.

“Although it was challenging for me in the Experimental Design, I gained a lot from that  experience which will help my career in the future,” said  Lois Abo of Lokelani Intermediate School.

Vanessa Coloma of St. Anthony Jr.-Sr. High School said that her participation in three events  tested her abilities.

After  half-a-day of dealing  mind boggling, rigorous and challenging questions and situations, the students displayed their critical thinking skills in solving science problems.

As a result, six schools will advance to the  Statewide Science Olympiad Tournament to be held at Leeward Community College on Saturday, March 5th. They are:Division B (middle school) : 1st place -Maui Preparatory Academy, 2nd place -St. Anthony Jr.-Sr. High School, and  3rd place- Lahaina Intermediate School. For Division C (high school):1st place-H.P. Baldwin High School,  2nd place- King Kekaulike High School, and  3rd place- Lahainaluna High School.
The spirit award was given to the team that displayed  good attitude, cooperation, and teamwork during the conduct of the events and it went to Kihei Charter School and H.P. Baldwin High School.

The other participating schools were Lokelani Intermediate School and Kihei Charter School.

The tournament was  presented by the Hawaii State Science Olympiad in partnership with the Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Women in TechnologyProject and the University of Hawaii Maui College. It was  funded in part by MEDB’S Ke Alahele Education Fund, The Air Force Research Laboratory, and the County of Maui.

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