Great minds gather at science fair

Sen. Daniel Inouye
Sen. Daniel Inouye
Lucia Mocz
Lucia Mocz

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hundreds of Hawaii's brightest students gathered today at the 52nd Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair. They're the next generation of computer scientists, astronomers, and oceanographers.

Each year, more than 7000 students participate in the Hawaii Academy of Science programs. Only 500 are invited to the prestigious annual event.

"This is really how the next generation of scientists engineers, you know politicians business men are coming from, this kind of event," said Waiakea student Nolan Kamitaki.

It's more than just an exhibition, its competition. Nolan Kamitaki, a Waiakea high school junior from the Big Island took first place as a freshman and second place last year. He hopes his project about infectious diseases will take top prize this year.

"I tried to see what would be the best way to screen and close down airports to slow down the spread of the disease the fastest to prevent the loss of life" said Nolan Kamitaki.

Senator Daniel Inouye helped judge this year's competition. The senior senator was impressed with how advanced today's generation of students have become.

"As I told Celia here, thank God I'm not in school now because I would have flunked," said Senator Daniel Inouye.

Unlike an S.A.T. score or a G.P.A. the results of this event won't affect Mililani high school senior Lucia Mocz's college placement opportunities.

"Harvard, Princeton, Yale, M.I.T. and Stanford. I will be attending one of those colleges and I will be studying mathematics and computer science in a double major," said Mililani high school senior Lucia Mocz

While there will only be two winners, this event is an opportunity for students to make new friends, share ideas, and raise the level of science education across Hawaii.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday. They head to Reno for the International Science and Engineering Fair next month.