DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kayla Vainerere, a Kahuku High junior, showed yesterday different water samples she collected from five beaches on the North Shore and from the Waikiki area as part of her State Science and Engineering Fair project. She concluded that there were no significant differences in water quality from the different sites.
Scientific kids show results
Winners of the science and engineering fair will be announced today at Blaisdell
Anyone who thinks the future isn't bright should look at student exhibits at the State Science and Engineering Fair, says a veteran of the event.
"They just get better and better," said Art Mori, Chaminade University professor emeritus who has been judging the projects for 30 years.
Awards and scholarships will be handed out to the top winners in a ceremony from 4:30 to 7 p.m. today at the Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall.
In Mori's view, "They're all winners." Whether they become scientists or not, they will become informed citizens, he said.
Hawaii Academy of Science and celebrity judges examined the 348 projects yesterday at the exhibition hall and interviewed 423 sixth- to 12th-graders who did the work.
Air Force psychologist Rena Nicholas judged behavioral sciences entries and assisted in selecting a student for an Air Force Academy award.
"I was surprised at how scientifically minded the kids are," including the young ones, she said. "They went into scientific stuff and lost me. These kids are amazing."
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Janelle You, a student at Iao Intermediate School on Maui, studied wave power by constructing a wave generator.
For instance, Lucia Mocz, Mililani High School junior and past state and national science fair winner, entered: "A New Model of See-through Vision: Image Reconstruction in Scattering Media from Quantum Exit Probabilities for Aerial, Terrestrial and Underwater Robot Inspection."
On a down-to-earth level, Tehilla Ben-Gershom, Kihei Charter School STEM Academy sixth-grader, devised a way to feed a dog when the owner is away. His "Gone-Away Dog Bowl" is a holder for a bowl that activates a voice recording.
Diana Cabral and Noelle Owen, St. Andrew's Priory 10th-graders, demonstrated that guarana, used in high-energy drinks such as Red Bull, is three times more potent than caffeine.
They studied the effects of caffeine, cayenne paper, ginseng, guarana and taurine on the heart rate of daphnia, a small crustacean. They used a microscope and a video camera and counted each heart beat with software Owen developed to slow the rate down, Diana said.
Concerned about global warming and renewable energy, Janelle You of Maui, Iao Intermediate School eighth-grader and district fair junior award winner, tackled "Wave Power: What Type of Wave Creates More Electricity?"
She built a wave generator and tested it on an air mattress filled with water, pushing the mattress to create large and small waves. She found large waves produce more power than smaller ones.
With wave, wind and solar power, she said, "We can be the state that runs on renewable energy and other states will want to follow us."
Kayla Vainerere, Kahuku High and Intermediate School seventh-grader, said she thought water at city beaches would be dirtier than beaches in the country.
But after collecting and testing water from five Oahu beaches, she concluded, "There is no significant difference between country and city beaches."
Senior Ayla Bicoy, the only Molokai student at the fair, designed five possible roads for reconstruction of "Molokai's Lifeline," the 78-year-old Kaunakakai Wharf.