Hilo student racks up
science accolades

Seventeen-year-old Kimberly Reinhold says she hasn't had time to think about all the awards she won in international competition last week.


Kimberly Reinhold: Wants to continue exploring artificial intelligence

She just got back to Hilo from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, she said in a telephone interview. "I have a lot of school work. I'm trying to finish through the year."

After she graduates Sunday from St. Joseph Junior Senior High School and tallies her awards, she'll find:

» A second-place Grand Award of $1,500 for a project in computer science, "Artificial Cognition and Memory: Tissue Image Analysis for Tumor Diagnosis."
» First-place award of $3,000 from the U.S. Air Force.
» Second-place award of $2,500 from IBM.
» $500 from the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.
» $1,000 from the Association for Computing Machinery.

She also was chosen as one of 20 members of USA Today's 2005 All-USA High School Academic First Team, winning $2,500 in cash and a trophy.

"It's really nice to have all this extra money," said Reinhold, who has won significantly more over the past four years at science fairs and in other competitions.

She won a first place $16,000 scholarship last month at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium sponsored by the Army, Navy and Air Force in San Diego.

That was on top of $2,000 she won at the Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability in Honolulu in January.

Larry Mordan, Kamehameha Schools science department chairman who accompanied five Hawaii students to San Diego, said Reinhold competed "with the cream of the cream" to win first place in computer science.

"She blew them (judges) away," Mordan said.

Reinhold recently was selected with Christian Ling of Wailuku as Hawaii's Presidential Scholars for 2005. They'll go to Washington, D.C., on June 25 for a four-day program and a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

"It's been kind of a life-changing experience for me," Reinhold said of her science awards. "I didn't know what I wanted to do until I started competing in the seventh grade.

"Now, I know I want to be a researcher."

She will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall.

She wants to continue looking at artificial intelligence and figure out how the human brain works. "It may take me more in a medical direction," she said.

Reinhold has won the top award at the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair for four years with a project she keeps advancing on artificial intelligence.

"But there's so much more to the science fair than just winning," she said.

Reinhold said she still gained a lot through experience and contacts with scientists and other kids.

She said she did all her research herself on her project, trying to create a computer program modeling the human visual pathway and applying that system to cancer diagnosis.

Her parents (both pathologists at Hilo Medical Center) and teachers have been very supportive, she said. "Also, judges have given me good ideas. My entire school has been really nice."

For her, science is fun, but she also has a lot of other activities, she said.

She dances ballet, tap and jazz at the Island Dance Academy, plays oboe in a band, takes private French lessons and "hangs out with friends."

She swam three years on the varsity team, but dropped it this year to concentrate on dance.


Eight Isle students
excel at science fair

Eight Hawaii students captured top awards out of 14 representing the state at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held last week in Phoenix.
Taking second-place Grand Awards of $1,500 were:
» Kimberly Reinhold of St. Joseph Junior Senior High, computer science category, "Artificial Cognition and Memory: Tissue Image Analysis for Tumor Diagnosis."
» Genevieve Pang, Alayna Betsill and Taryn Takahashi of Baldwin High School for a team project in microbiology, "Fish Mucus: Factors Affecting Bacterial Growth on the Hawaiian Eleotris sandwicensis."
Kaitlin Luther and Alana Yurkanin of Baldwin High, team project in zoology: "Methods of Deterring Sharks in Both Invasive and Noninvasive Situations." They also won a $5,000 first-place cash award from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Winning third-place Grand Award of $1,000 were two Kamehameha Schools students:
» Jessie Ann Paahana, botany: "Ohelo: Inhibition of Bacterial Growth." Paahana also won a $20,000 scholarship ($5,000 per year for four years) from the Department of Homeland Security, Programs Office.
» Kawakahi Amina, medicine and health, "Effect of Vitamin E on Ultraviolet Induced Mutagenesis."
About the winners:
Reinhold also won a first place award of $3,000 from the U.S. Air Force, second place award of $2,500 from IBM, $500 from the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and $1,000 from the Association for Computing Machinery.
Reinhold, Paahana, Pang, Betsill and Takahashi were nominated for the Intel fair from the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair.
Luther and Yurkanin represented the Maui District Science and Engineering Fair.
Amina represented the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools Science Fair.
Others representing Hawaii at the Intel fair:
Students attending were Clifford Kapono of Kamehameha Schools, Kevin Luu and Vaseem Anwar of Maryknoll High School, Devin Elting of Castle High School, Johanna De la Cruz of Kapolei High School and Andrew Abe of Pearl City High School.
Carmela Minaya of Hanalani School and Glenn Lee of Waialua High School attended the fair in Phoenix as Science Teachers of the Year, an award sponsored by the Hawaii Academy of Science and Chevron Hawaii.
Other science teachers attending were Larry Mordan of Kamehameha Schools and Geraldine Fouts of Maryknoll School.
About the event:
The International Science and Engineering Fair is sponsored by Intel and has been administered by Science Service since the nonprofit organization began in 1950 to advance the understanding and appreciation of science.
The Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair is sponsored by the Hawaii Academy of Science with the state Department of Education and University of Hawaii-Manoa College of Education.

Star-Bulletin staff

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