Lucia Mocz, shown at a state science competition, competed successfully in Atlanta during the recent Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Mocz works smarter
An Oahu whiz kid wins valuable prizes in a competition with other young scientists
Mililani High School junior Lucia Mocz, who has won top awards at state and international science competitions, continued her wins at the recent Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta.
Mocz said competition at this year's Intel Fair "was probably the best." She said she enjoyed looking at the computer science and engineering projects. "There were really cool ones."
The students met leading scientists and industry executives who were judges, including more specialized judges than in the past, 17-year-old Mocz said. "It was very interesting speaking to judges who specialized in the project I did."
Her four Intel fair awards were:
» An $8,000 undergraduate tuition scholarship from the Office of Naval Research for a relevant research project.
» A $5,000 undergraduate scholarship from the Department of Homeland Security and a $5,000, 10-week summer research internship.
» A $200 fourth-place award from the Association for Computing Machinery and student membership in the association.
» The second-place award of $1,500 in the computer science category in the Intel ISEF Grand Awards.
Her project: "A New Model of See-through Vision: Image Reconstruction in Scattering Media from Quantum Exit Probabilities for Aerial, Terrestrial and Underwater Robot Inspection."
Also winning top awards were Nolan Kamitaki of Hilo, a Waiakea High School 10th-grader, and Micah Maetani, a Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama senior.
Kamitaki won a $1,500 second-place award for medicine and health in the Intel ISEF Grand Awards for his project, "Programming a Network Approach to Contain the Spread of Epidemics, Second Year Study."
Maetani won an Army award consisting of a $1,000 U.S. savings bond, a certificate of achievement and a gold medallion for his entry, "Growth Inhibition of Metastatic Prostate Cancer: Effect of Methanolic Extracts from Various Nuts."
The three were among 19 Hawaii finalists competing against 1,551 of the best student scientists from 45 states and 51 countries. All isle finalists were winners at district, regional and state science fairs.
Mocz's awards come on top of many others she has won in the past few years in state and international science competitions, including four at last year's Intel Fair in New Mexico.
The money, being banked for college, "is not quite enough for a full ride," she said, explaining she is leaning toward Princeton or Harvard.
She and her brother, Philip, one year older, led Hawaii's delegation to the Intel Fair in 2006 after taking top prizes at the State Science and Engineering Fair.
Philip Mocz, who will attend Harvard in the fall, is one of 20 students selected from among 10,000 high school students to compete this month in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Camp at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. Four will be chosen for the U.S. team to compete in the International Chemistry Olympiad.
At the Intel fair, the isle students met peers from all over the world. "It was really fun," Lucia Mocz said.
The opening event was at the Atlanta Aquarium and Coca-Cola World, where they sampled 72 different flavors of Coke.
Former Waikiki Aquarium Director Bruce Carlson, now at the Atlanta Aquarium, gave the students a behind-the-scenes tour.
They also had a special tour of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and watched a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and Oakland A's.