Students show off smarts at Science and Engineering Fair

LIHUE — Eighty-six display boards and projects were showcased Friday afternoon at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall for the Kauai Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

From projects concerning what’s in the water you drink to how different genres of music can affect a person’s heartbeat, students were nervous but excited to show off their hard work in front of friends and family.

“I stayed up until 3 a.m. on Tuesday night working on this,” said Jenna Takata, a sophomore at Kauai High. “It’s a very long process, but I’m very proud of it and I hope I do well.”

Takata did well in the science fair, placing fifth in the Senior Division. Winning first place in the Senior Division were Shasta White and Sonata Beasley from Kapaa High with their “Human Impacts on Coral Reefs” project.

In the Junior Division, Hali’a Moriguchi from Waimea Canyon took first place for her project called “Soak it Up.”

While not every participant went home with an award, many students said they learned a lot from this experience and were impressed with work of other students.

Waimea Canyon Middle School, Kapaa Middle, Kilauea Elementary, KCPS, Hanalei Elementary, Puukumu, Kauai High, Kapaa High and Waimea High students were in the fair.

“I think it’s pretty cool. I think when people put the effort into it, like actually try to do a good science fair project, you’re able to learn quite a lot,” said Jackson Peterson, junior at Kauai High School.

One project that stood out in particular was Shaday Thomas’s project on what’s in your water. Thomas, an eighth grader at Kapaa Middle, told The Garden Island that according to her data, there isn’t much difference from the water you drink from your tap with the water at Lydgate Park.

“We tested different waters around the island to see what’s in them. We found that the waters that had the most nitrates in them were Lydgate Park’s water and tap water, which is concerning because Lydgate is at the beach; tap water is in your house,” she said.

In all, each project told a different story and showed variety and creativity, which caught the eye of Kapaa High Principal Daniel Hamada as he walked around and spoke with students.

“Science fairs, from elementary to high school, are a real form of learning. It’s real life learning,” Hamada said. “I have kids that want to go into (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) or health or agriculture. Science fairs are part of a larger picture. No matter what area you’re interested in, if you can put together a project like this, it validates what you’re learning.”

Here is the list of winners in the Junior and Senior Divisions below:


1st: Hali‘a Moriguchi, WCMS

2nd: Alexander Henriques/Danicah Ganir, KMS

3rd: Tyler Tanaka/Isaiah Squire, KMS

4th: Amelia Styan, WCMS

5th: Pauline Ragus, WCMS


1st: Shasta White, Sonata Beasley, Kapaa High

2nd: Kasiah Vercelli, Kapaa High

3rd: Renee Anderson-Navarro, Kauai High

4th: Kalia Matsunaga, Kauai High

5th: Jenna Takata, Kauai High


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