17-year-old Matthew Jachowski recently won two awards at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Louisville, Ky. Jachowski left yesterday for the mainland to take part in a NASA Summer High School Apprentice Research Program.

Science opens doors
to Maui student

He and other isle kids have already piled
up scholarships to fund their future schooling

By Helen Altonn

Matthew Jachowski will begin his senior year at Maui High School this fall with about $12,000 in college scholarships "through the whole science fair experience."

The oldest of five children in his family, the 17-year-old won two big awards at the recent International Science and Engineering Fair in Louisville, Ky. His three brothers and sister also are high achievers in academics and other areas.

Matthew received a $5,000 American Astronomical Society and Astronomical Society of the Pacific First Place Award in international competition and a $1,000 Third Place Grand Award in Earth and Space Sciences.

Kimberly Elsie Reinhold, freshman at Saint Joseph Senior High in Hilo, won $1,000 from the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, a $500 Dupont Award and a NASA certificate for students under age 16.

Richard Jean Rodrick, Kapaa High School junior on Kauai, won a $1,000 American Society of Agronomy First Place Award.

Receiving $500 awards were Liang Wang, senior at Waiakea High, Hilo; Yu-Tzu Liu, senior at Saint Andrew's Priory in Honolulu; and Kinani Arkus, junior, Kamehameha Secondary School.

Matthew Jachowski previously garnered about $6,000 in scholarships from the state and Maui county science fairs. "That was a pretty good start for my junior year," he said in a telephone interview.

He left yesterday for the mainland with four other Hawaii students for a NASA Summer High School Apprentice Research Program -- SHARP PLUS. They will be among 150 students from across the country doing NASA-related research on university campuses and at industry sites.

Others are Elizabeth Au, Iolani School; Benjamin Johnson, Hilo High School; Windell Jones, Waipahu High School; and Eisha Matsubara, Waiakea High School.

Matthew's winning project in the county, state and international science fairs had to do with asteroids: "Effect of Observation Timing on Initial Orbit Determining Accuracy."

He said he collected data last summer in a science program "like an introduction to astronomy" sponsored by Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology and Harvey Mudd College.

Studying limitations in determining orbits of asteroids, he "found that methods become less reliable to use when using asteroid observations that are unequally spaced in time, or not spaced very far apart."

"His project had both my wife and I stumped," said the student's father, Doug Jachowski, an electrical engineer. Matthew's mother, Maile, is a pediatrician and former state science fair winner.

Matthew's project captured first place at the Maui County science fair, fourth overall at the state science fair and best among public high school entries.

The youth has a grade point average of 4.5 in advanced placement courses, with math and science his favorite subjects.

He also likes to run and is on his school's track and cross-country teams.

Last summer, he looked at MIT, Princeton and Harvard universities for undergraduate work. "I liked all three," he said.

He will work at Boeing Satellite Systems in Los Angeles during the eight-week NASA internship. He and all the other apprentices except Au will stay at a California State University campus. Au will go to the University of Wisconsin. They will receive $4.75 an hour for a 40-hour work week, as well as travel expenses.

Matthew doesn't know yet what he'll be doing but feels it will be related to engineering. "It'll be a new experience."

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin