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Molokai Science Projects Wow Judges

Molokai students have proved themselves to be some of state’s brightest minds. Seventeen Molokai High School students and 15 Molokai Middle students represented the island at this year’s Maui Schools’ Science and Engineering Fair on Maui two weeks ago – and they returned laden with awards.

MHS senior Moriah Jenkins won the event’s top honor for developing a myoelectric prosthetic limb for dogs. She will represent Hawaii at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pennsylvania this May — marking the first year a Molokai student has qualified for the international competition.

Jenkins’ project is based on a robotic prosthetic designed for humans which she adapted for dogs, according to an interview with The Maui News.   She used a wire model to demonstrate how her idea would fit canines. The myoelectric limb uses the nerve impulses left in a leg stump to control an electric-powered prosthetic.

Jenkins and four other Molokai High students won merit awards for their projects, and two more received honorable mention. Eleventh grade team Jake Sakamoto and Brittanie Nerveza, 10th grade team Paul Parker and Robert Onofrio, and Jenkins will go on to represent the island at the Hawaii State Science Fair in April.

In total, Molokai High School students Michael Kikukawa, Michael Onofrio, Xrystina Bicoy, Sarah Jenkins, Ka`i Blevins, Makana Kaholoa`a, Jake Sakamoto, Brittanie Nerveza, Paul Parker, Robert Onofrio, and Moriah Jenkins snatched fifteen awards.

“I was very proud of how our team prepared and presented their material to the judges,” said science teacher Lee DeRouin. “We have had some success at the Science Fair in the past, but this year’s team surpassed all expectations.”

On the Middle School side, Giesha Nunez, Oceana Madani, Kea`a Davis, Sabrina Curtis, Kanani Ah Van, Lily Jenkins, and Momi Afelin won six awards.

“Our students are really choosing to challenge themselves and go the extra mile with such projects,” said Middle School teacher Jennifer Ainoa. “Molokai will earn the reputation as that special little island that turns out the world’s leading scientists.”

Eighth grade student Momi Afelin, science fair winner for two years in a row had this advice, “Always strive for your best and only compete against yourself.”

Oceana Madani, who explored how to recycle gray water to reduce water usage, said being called on stage at Maui to win an award made her feel “excited” and “like a celebrity.”

Students spent many hours in and out of school preparing for the competition. Some, like Jenkins, have spent years perfecting their projects.

Maui Schools’ Science & Engineering Fair Results:

Top Senior Division Award
Pet Prosthesis
Moriah Jenkins, Gr. 12 – Molokai High

Merit Award Winners
 Pet Prosthesis
Moriah Jenkins, Gr. 12 – Molokai High

Up In Smoke
    Jake Sakamoto, Brittanie Nerveza, Gr. 11 – Molokai High

Resolution to Fringing Reef
    Paul Parker, Robert Onofrio, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

HONORABLE MENTION
The Effects of Housing on Domesticated Chicken Eggs
Kea`a Davis, Gr. 8 – Molokai Middle

Solar Energy to Pump Water During Crisis
Michael Kikukawa, Michael Onofrio, Gr. 11 – Molokai High

Specialized Awards

Masonic Lodge Award
Pet Prosthesis
Moriah Jenkins, Gr. 12 – Molokai High

American Meteorological Society
Resolution to Fringing Reef
Paul Parker, Robert Onofrio, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

American Psychological Association
Can You Balance With Music On?
Kananiokeola Ah Van, Gr. 7 – Molokai Middle

ASM Materials Education Foundation
Resolution to Fringing Reef
Paul Parker, Robert Onofrio, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

Association for Women Geoscientists
Beyond the Beaches
Xrystina Bicoy, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

NOAA
Let’s Go Fly a Kite
Sarah Jenkins, Gr. 9 – Molokai High

Ricoh
Solar Energy to Pump Water During a Crisis
    Michael Kikukawa, Michael Onofrio, Gr. 11 – Molokai High

Yale Science & Engineering Association Inc
Solar Energy to Pump Water During Crisis
    Michael Kikukawa, Michael Onofrio, Gr. 11 – Molokai High

U.S. MetricAssociation
In-bound Wave
    Hokualaka`i Blevins, Gr. 11, Emmit Kaholoa`a, Gr. 10 – Molokai High

U.S. Air Force Awards
Pet Prosthesis
Moriah Jenkins, Gr. 12 – Molokai High

Up In Smoke
Jake Sakamoto, Brittanie-Rae Nerveza, Gr. 11 – Molokai High

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