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West Students Shine In Science Tournament

On March 3, the Hawaii State Science Olympiad hosted its eighth annual Statewide Science Olympiad Tournament at Leeward Community College featuring student and coaches from 30 public, private, charter and home schools.

First place in the C Division (high school) went to Iolani School coached by Narayan Raja, followed by Mililani High School led by coach Namthip Sitachitta. Third place went to Pearl City High School and coach Hai Nguyen. In the B division (middle school), first place also went to Iolani, coached by Joanne Lin, followed by Maui Preparatory Academy coached by Carrie DeMott and third-place honors were awarded to Highlands Intermediate School and coach Kathy Lin.

Kapolei Middle School

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Kapolei Middle School students, who placed third in the Leeward regional Olympiad tournament in February, are (back, from left) Vanessa Bentley, Allyson Huh, Kamalani Aetonu, Dominic Gaspar, Joe Uesato, Evan Nakamura, Dylan Miyata, Nicholas Ono and Selena Vanapruks, (front) Jocelyn Espanola, Kevin Nguyen, Collin Miyata, Ciara Alagao, David Holloway, Aja Uesato, Christian Lopez, Ariel Villanueva Jr. and coach Ariel Villanueva. The team also participated in the statewide Olympiad tournament earlier this month. Photo courtesy Olympiad staff.

Aside from bragging rights, these tops schools also received athlete-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 STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) community representatives of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Hawaii Academy of Science, Hawaii State Department of Education, Hawaii Science Teachers Association, Pacific American Foundation, University of Hawaii System of Colleges and Syngenta.

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 state director of Hawaii State Science Olympiad Franklin Allaire.

This year’s HSSO schools included Highlands Intermediate School, Kapolei Middle School, James Campbell High School, Kahuku High and Intermediate School, Waianae High School, Moanalua High School, Pearl City High School, University Laboratory School, Punahou Case Middle School, Mililani High School, Hawaiian Classical Christian Academy, Le Jardin Academy, Waiakea High School, Konawaena High School, Kea’au High School, Island Intermediate and High School, Waimea High School, H.P. Baldwin High School, King Kekaulike High School, St. Anthony Junior to Senior High School, Iolani School, Hilo Intermediate School, Kapa’a Middle School, Waimea Canyon Middle School, Maui Preparatory Academy and Lahaina Intermediate School.