Science soars

KAPAA — For the first time they’ve done this, they’re going to Honolulu for the state finals, said Catherine Triplett, the St. Catherine School science teacher Wednesday.

“We had 22 students entered in the Science Olympiad and 16 students earned medals,” Triplett said. “This is the very first time the students had entered this competition, and to earn this many medals is amazing. Overall, St. Catherine finished fourth, below St. Theresa School and Island School.”

St. Catherine School earned four silver medals and 12 bronze, including the silver honors for “Crime Busters” by Kiran Costa and Dan Higa, and the “Road Scholar” by James Triplett and Cecelia Lindsey.

Michelle Rutz, St. Catherine School curriculum coordinator, attributes the students’ excellence in science academics to Triplett.

“She initiated a new team this year for the school and earned many awards at the Science Olympiad at the Kauai Community College campus,” Rutz said in an email. “Because another school had scheduling conflicts, St. Catherine School will be attending the state competition on Oahu.”

St. Catherine School students did not stop there as they earned spots into the Kauai District Science Fair which is taking place at the Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

Avery Puoai, an eighth-grade student, will be presenting his “Rocketry Fuel Science” at the fair after winning his grade at the school’s science fair. 

He will be joined by seventh-grade students Naomi Noguchi, Leimomi Rosa, Hilinai Hochuli, Cecelia Lindsey, Jordan Fleming, Lola Buick, and Mazy Carlson. Gabriel Ballesteros, Megan Aiu-Taber, and John Paul Lindsey will be representing the sixth grade at the Kauai District Science Fair.

Celina Haigh, St. Catherine School principal, said while helping the students to attain excellence in science, Triplett also garnered her share of awards, including being named Teacher of the Month following the Ash Wednesday mass.

“Mrs. Triplett has won the coaching award through the Science Olympiad program after being here less than a year,” Rutz said. “For that honor, she receives an all-expense paid trip to Phoenix, Arizona this summer to receive intensive training in building a stronger team.”

Triplett deflected the credit, turning her attention to students who were busy wrapping up loose ends for the Kauai District Science Fair.

“The school is supposed to be working toward getting us a bigger science lab,” Triplett said. “We can definitely use the extra space.”

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