Maui Preparatory Academy’s Science Olympiad team once again dominated on a state level. Our small school, with a team of mostly new members, scored 2nd place coming in closely behind Iolani School of Oahu.
Team members Nainoa Moore, Griffin Sagar, Molly Manafo, Lexie Leon, Cassidy Otto, Alexa Narayan, Zac Giles, JJ Jerome, Nick Head, Jonah Bluh, Coleman Kingwell, Jessica Kingwell, Sydney Gilbert, Joshua Ancheta, Danielle Bergson practiced daily to prepare for the competition. Students were busy creating testable models, collecting and interpreting data, cooperatively studying, experimenting, and researching. Coaches Carrie DeMott, Chris Border, and Krishna Narayan facilitated the processes by providing practice tests, materials, and guidance.
The 15 events covered a variety of science areas and required students to develop advanced understanding of their topics. Events like “Disease Detectives” required students to review real CDC cases and follow steps that real epidemiologists would need to do to protect our society. Sydney Gilbert and Molly Manafo placed second at the state tournament and earned high praises from professors at Maui College for their deliberate and analytical interpretation of the evidence set before them. Placing first in Food Science, 7th graders Nainoa Moore and Alexa Narayan examined the chemical composition of foods and identified them through on site analysis.
The kids had a great time at the competition at Leeward Community College and exploring the Universtiy of Hawaii, Manoa. For many of them, it was their first time competing on the state level and staying at a university. Our young team has 10 new students this year, with only 5 returning members. Students enjoyed their trip to Oahu which included some exciting educational tours. We were able to make arrangements to see the HURL submersibles and get a tour of the petrology labs at UH Manoa. Having the opportunity to meet scientists and see their work was a highlight for the kids. Getting middle school students to begin thinking about college and careers in science is an important part of the Science Olympiad and one of the reasons that Maui Preparatory Academy focuses on providing our students with the opportunity.
To be on the SO team, students need to be able to commit to practices, keep their grades up, and be a role model for their peers. At the moment, our team is focused on our upcoming celebratory party. They have worked very hard and deserve to celebrate their accomplishments.
To learn more about the Hawaii State Science Olympiad, visit their website at www.hsso.org.