Students showcased their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects at their district science and engineering fairs on Friday, Feb. 10 in Windward Oahu and Saturday, Feb. 11 in Honolulu. The winners will go on to compete at the 2017 Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair April 10-12.
"The projects addressed a variety of complex issues facing Hawaii's next generation of scientists, engineers and programmers – from cleaning the Ala Wai Canal to harnessing solar energy for cooking," said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. "These projects show our students' abilities to apply rigorous curriculum and concepts to real-world solutions."
Students entering the competition adhere to strict scientific rules and requirements that mirror scientific investigation. The research project judging criteria are: creative ability; scientific method and engineering design; thoroughness and knowledge of concepts; competence and skills; and communication and clarity.
Mahealani Plunkett, a sixth grader at Kahuku Elementary competing in the Windward District fair, studied the five-second rule for her project. "My classmates always say that and I wanted to see if it was true. I learned that in my school, our classroom is the dirtiest and the cafeteria is the cleanest."
The Honolulu District fair included a full line-up of student entertainment, art and STEM exhibits and a wide variety of projects including:
- "The Use of Virtual Reality to Improve Exercise and Body Movement," by James Shigemoto from Kalani High School;
- "The Evolution of Vaccinations," by Jasmine Murphey and Kacie Lau from Kaimuki Middle; and
- "Ka Wai Ola: E ola an aka mea kanu i ka wai wale no," by Kawaiola Nihoa, Mweana Sears and Leinaala Murphy from Anuenue Elementary and High School.
The Honolulu STEM fair ended early after weather conditions caused Kapiolani Community College to shut down the campus. There will be a reconvening of judges to go through the callback process for categories that were not completed today.
For more information about the district and state science fairs, click here.