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Kruze Cruises to National Finals

Photo courtesy of Kruze Lani

A freshman at Molokai High School (MHS) is headed to the International Science and Engineering Fair. Kruze Lani earned a spot in the finals, which will be held in Los Angeles, by securing second place at last month’s Hawaii state competition.

Kruze’s project is a “comparative analysis on water conservation and plant growth efficacy,” he explained. The project examined differences between traditional watering methods and a wicking bed.

“The main thing I was researching was which one would grow the plants better and save water, especially because we live on Molokai,” said Kruze.

He was inspired by a workshop he took at the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Molokai extension office, which experimented with wicking beds.

“I saw the results from this, and I was kind of wondering how it worked like that,” said Kruze. “That inspired me to do research on it.”

A wicking bed is essentially “a pot that waters itself,” Kruze explained, with a reservoir on the bottom separated by a mesh layer from the soil. According to his research, the wicking pod produced 150 germinated seeds, while the traditional pot only produced 81.

“I concluded that the wicking beds are best for the areas that we live in, dry areas,” he said.

Lani has made something of a habit of excelling in national research competitions. Last year, as an eighth grader, he was awarded “outstanding entry” at the National History Day competition for his project on the 1921 temperance movement.

“When I see the opportunity, I know to take it,” said Kruze. “It’s not common to get the opportunity like that.”

Currently, he’s working on a documentary for this year’s National History Day, which he will present later in June.

Now, with several competitions under his belt, Kruze says he enjoys the competition process.

“After doing it so many times, it becomes fluid,” he explained.

Kruze will head to Los Angeles on May 10 to begin the weeklong Science and Engineering Fair.


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