Science fair draws 358 projects
This year's State Science and Engineering Fair on Wednesday will feature 358 science projects by 469 students competing for college scholarships, trips and other awards.
The students, representing 74 public and private schools throughout the state, will assemble their projects today at the Neal Blaisdell Center exhibition hall.
Judging will be tomorrow, and the projects will be open for viewing by the public and schools from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. The awards ceremony will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. that day in the Pikake Room.
Projects cover a wide range of issues, such as "Ancient Diesel: Making Methyl Ester from Kukui Nut Oil," "Disaster Preparedness for Molokai: The Effect of Water Inundation on Kaunakakai" and "Impact Study of Differing Traffic Control Systems."
State winners will receive expense-paid trips to represent Hawaii at the International Science and Engineering Fair May 7-13 in Indianapolis.
Winners of the Maui, Windward and Leeward district fairs also will compete at the international fair, as well as winners of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools Science Fair.
Hawaii students have won top awards and scholarships at the international fair over the years.
The state fair is organized by the Hawaii Academy of Science with about 110 organizations contributing more than 425 awards.
Junior Division winners have an opportunity to win a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge. Fifteen Hawaii students went to that event last year -- the second-largest delegation after Florida.
Students also can compete for a free trip offered by the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize for a water science research project.
Tuition scholarships totaling about $40,000 will be awarded by Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University and the University of Hawaii.
More than 250 representatives of state government, businesses, organizations and educational institutions will judge the projects and interview students.
University of Hawaii astronomer Robert Jedicke will give a lecture on killer asteroids for the students at 1 p.m. tomorrow in Pikake Hall. Jedicke was a consultant for the film "Deep Impact" and was an International Science Fair winner.
Speakers at the awards ceremony will be Clayton Fujie, state Department of Education deputy superintendent, and Klaus Keil, president of the Hawaii Academy of Science and dean, UH School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology.
Major sponsors of the science fair are the DOE, UH-Manoa College of Education, McInerny Foundation, Tesoro Hawaii, G.N. Wilcox Trust, Frear Eleemosynary Trust, Chevron Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Co., Hawaiian Cement, Hawaii Medical Service Association, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser.