4 Hawaii teens to attend national science meet


POSTED: Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Five top science students from Hawaii and Samoa have won all-expenses-paid trips to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, April 30 to May 4 at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Chosen for the best experimental research papers in regional competition at the recent Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability in Honolulu were:

» First place: Lucia Mocz, a senior at Mililani High, who won a $2,000 scholarship to the college of her choice. Her teacher, Namthip Sitachitta, also will receive a trip to the national event.

» Second place: Nolan Kamitaki, Waiakea High junior on the Big Island, who received a $1,500 scholarship to the college of his choice.

» Third place: Samuel Meleisea, senior at Tafuna high School, Samoa. He received a $1,000 scholarship.

» Fourth and fifth place: Carolynn Kitamura, senior, and Alyssa Fujimoto, junior, both from Kamehameha Schools.

Mocz and Kamitaki will compete at the national symposium. Meleisea, Kitamura and Fujimoto will attend as observers.

Vanessa Lui, a McKinley High junior, was selected as an alternate.

The regional competition is sponsored by the Hawaii Academy of Science through a grant from the Academy of Applied Sciences. It is open to all high school students from Hawaii, American Samoa and Micronesia.

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is sponsored by the U.S. Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force with leading research universities.

More than 400 students are expected to participate from 48 regional symposiums.