Trojans Take Second-place Trophy At State Science Olympiad

Mililani High School science students took second place in their division March 3 at the eighth annual Hawaii State Science Olympiad (HSSO).

First place in the C Division went to Iolani School, and Pearl City High took third. Mililani is coached by science teacher Namthip Sitachitta.

Leeward Community College hosted the academic competition that featured 30 public, private, charter and home-schooled students.

Aside from bragging rights, the top schools also received athletic-style trophies and an invitation to represent Hawaii at the 28th annual National Science Olympiad Tournament at the University of Central Florida in May. Top students also were awarded Olympic-style medals from members of Hawaii’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) community including representatives of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Hawaii Academy of Science, state Department of Education, Hawaii Science Teachers Association, Pacific American Foundation, University of Hawaii System of Colleges, and Syngenta, an agricultural research and development company.

Teams were tested in a wide variety of fields including science, biology, chemistry, engineering, genetics, medicine, physics and rock-etry.

“What’s great about Science Olympiad is the hands-on, problem-based nature of the activities. Kids are doing real science with real scientists,” said the state’s Olympiad director, Franklin Allaire.

HSSO was founded in 2004 and is an all-volunteer state affiliate of the National Science Olympiad. The program is geared toward improving the quality of science education for children in grades K-12.

Participation in Science Olympiad has grown to include 70 schools from all the Hawaiian islands.

Kahuku High and Intermediate School also participated.