POSTED: Thursday, April 09, 2009

Nolan Kamitaki, a Waiakea High School junior on the Big Island, said he thought this year's State Science and Engineering Fair was the most competitive he's seen.

“;The quality of the research has gone up tremendously,”; he said during the judging on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, when awards were announced yesterday, Kamitaki and Lucia Mocz, a Mililani High senior, again took top honors for senior research.

Mocz won first place for her project: “;Complex Evaluation of Danger and Tranquility in Urban Settings: An Immunocomputing Intelligence Approach.”;

Kamitaki was second with “;The Effect of Various Medical Responses on the Spread of Infectious Diseases Within a Partially Stochastic Multiple-City Simulation.”;

The two led the senior division for the third year. Mocz won first place last year and Kamitaki second. In 2007, Kamitaki was first and Mocz second.

Both won awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair last year in Atlanta and will compete in the next international fair May 10-16 in Reno, Nev.

Travis Le, a Punahou School ninth-grader, won third place for senior research this year with his project, “;WASP 2-b or Not Just 2-b,”; and he'll also go to the international event.

Junior Research winners were:

» First place, Ben Bintley, a sixth-grader at St. Joseph Junior/Senior High School, Hilo, “;Magnetic Accelerator.”;

» Second, Gina Hyun and Kira Fox, eighth-graders at Niu Valley Intermediate on Oahu, “;1270 Datura.”;

» Third, Alysha Mae Pytlarz, eighth-grader at Highlands Trinity Christian School on Oahu, “;Wanna Play a Game?”;

Receiving honorable mention in the senior division were: Jayme Ogino of Kamehameha High School, Oahu; Mark Seu of Waiakea High; and Sarah Tamashiro and Lindsay Fujimoto of St. Andrew's Priory, Oahu.

Winning honorable mention for junior research were: Kalino Poai of Kealakehe Intermediate, Big Island; Cody Benbow and Guinevere Davenport of Kealakehe Intermediate; and Ellis Akana of Holy Nativity School, Oahu.

Dominique Campbell of Konawaena Middle School on the Big Island won first place for junior display. Ryan Wade of St. John Vianney School on Oahu was second, and Abraham Kwon, Danicia Honda and Katrinia Jimenez of Highlands Intermediate School in Pearl City placed third.

Receiving honorable mention for junior display: Arshajean Delosa and Lynsey Pelletier of Our Redeemer Lutheran Elementary, Malia Swartz of Niu Valley Intermediate and Jennifer Jones of Island Pacific Academy, all on Oahu.

More than $250,000 in awards were presented to the winners from companies, universities, government agencies and other organizations.

Finalists going to the international fair include Sarah Tamashiro and Lindsay Fujimoto of St. Andrew's Priory, team winners, and these district science fair winners:

Maui: Serena Perry and Terah Summers, Baldwin High School.

Kauai: Kara Dastrup and Dylan Cockerham of Kapaa High School and Nicole Isoda and Keri Ann Yatogo of Kapaa High.

Leeward Oahu: Andrew Stridiron of Kapolei High School.

Windward Oahu: Kiana Wilson, Erica Buckholz and Marisa Swiderski of Kahuku High.

Hawaii Association of Independent Schools: Micah Del Rosario and Tyler Amina, both of Kamehameha School, and Diana Cabral, Noelle Owen and Aloha Yoza of St. Andrew's Priory.

Kamitaki will represent the Big Island district fair with the team of Kelson Lau of Waiakea High and Megan Kurohara of Hilo High.

Also receiving trips to the international fair as science teachers of the year award recipients will be Steven Zeiher of Waiakea Intermediate School and Estan Revnon of Kapolei High School.