Monday, May 7, 2001

student wins national
science prize

Her work on cancer will also
take her to a London forum

By Helen Altonn


Kiani Arkus, a Kamehameha Schools sophomore, has won a $20,000 scholarship as one of eight finalists in the recent Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Orlando, Fla.

Her project won first place in the biochemistry/cell biology category. It was titled "Hala and HELA: The Inhibitory Effects of the Pandanus odoratissimus on the Growth of the Human Cervical Cancer Cells."

Besides the scholarship, Arkus won an expense-paid trip to the London International Youth Sciences Forum, a scientific and cultural exchange program. More than 400 students are expected from more than 60 nations.

Arkus took first place in the regional competition, the Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability, held in February in Honolulu.

Other Pacific finalists at the national symposium were Felix Lui of McKinley High School, Candace Seu of Waiakea High School, Pua Borges of Kamehameha Schools and Salafa'aniusila McGuire of Leone High School in American Samoa.

Bernie Kilonsky, Pacific Symposium director, who accompanied the students to Orlando, said: "I was very proud of Kiani and all of the students who attended the symposium. They did a wonderful job of representing the state of Hawaii and, in Sala's case, American Samoa.

"They showed that their science projects were on a par or, in Kiani's case, better than those of many of the top high school science students in the nation."

The two top winners of this year's Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair, Arkus and Marissa Kellet of Kamehameha, and Hawaii district science fair winners will compete this week at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif.

The district winners are Marlon Gomez of Campbell High School (Leeward District); Mei Mei Fong of Castle High (Windward District); Aaron Cates, Kawika Mortensen, Kalikolehua Hurley and Nicole Shishido, all of Kamehameha Schools (Hawaii Association of Independent Schools); Joshua Santos of Baldwin High (Maui District); and Tara Bonilla, Rickey Roderick, Whitney Haraguchi, Tyson Wakayama and Rodney Yama, all of Kapaa High (East Kauai District).

The Junior Symposium is funded by the U.S. Army Research offices, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to encourage analytical and creative development among youths in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.

The Pacific Symposium is sponsored by the Hawaii Academy of Science and funded by a grant from the Army, Navy and Air Force research offices.

The State Science Fair is a program of the Hawaii Academy of Science, the state Department of Education and the University of Hawaii-Manoa College of Education.

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