Japan Super Science Fair
Waiakea High School has recently taken steps to reach out to the international community by expanding to give students the opportunity to get a better picture of the world as people become better connected with their international neighbors. In years past, many students have hosted foreign exchange students from countries such as Japan. Recently, Waiakea has participated in the Japan Super Science Fair, an event that took place at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. This event is geared toward helping form a globally connected scientific community that will help solve global problems like the energy crises and global warming. Waiakea was 1 of 5 schools from the United States attending, and 1 of the 46 schools from 19 different countries that participate.
Students were expected to prepare a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation on their science projects. The projects were presented in front of an audience and a panel of commentators. This differs from American science fairs because projects are not judged competitively. There are a very wide variety of science fair projects ranging in complexity from Wireless Electronics, to a physics project done by students from Applied Technology High School in Abu Dhabi, to something more simplistic like “How does Aging Affect Your Hearing” – a Biology project done by students from Australian Science and Mathematics School. Waiakea did their project on Opea Ula, the endemic shrimp found in the anchialine ponds along the coast. Shortly after, there was a poster presentation session where students were allowed to walk freely about the presentation hall and ask questions about each other’s projects. Then there was a cultural presentation where each country or school had time to come up and share something about their country and culture.
The Science Fair lasted a total of 5 days and the students were given a choice of 1 of the 6 science zones offered. The science zones were like project-based classes in which students from many different countries were grouped together and given various projects to work on as a group. For example, Kellie Iwasaki, a Waiakea student, was part of the science zone 2, where the task was to construct a bridge out of uncooked spaghetti noodles. Science teachers Mr. Dale Olive and Mr. Tom Murphy taught a science zone on robotics.
When asked about his experience, Quintin Watanabe said, “The experience I had was amazing; I learned something new every day and made friends that I hope to keep in contact with for the rest of my life.” Waiakea High School has been invited back next year and hopes to further pursue their research on Opea Ula.