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Hawaii Star Wire

Student Excellence in Science, Engineering Celebrated

Hawaii and the nation have seen renewed focus on the fields of science and engineering as key to future success. But the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair has been committed to the cause for more than half a century. The HSSEF is the oldest and largest science education program in Hawaii, today reaching more than 7,000 students across the state. Over 600 students — representing public, private and home schools — participate in the premier event, competing for significant prizes and awards. “It’s exciting to talk with students about the work put into their science fair projects, as these kids are bright, inquisitive, and our future leaders,” said Kerry Kakazu, President of the Hawaii Academy of Science. “In this age of global competitiveness it is reassuring to see our young students embracing science and tackling tough problems.” [...]

Middle schoolers off to MathCounts nationals

The Hawaii MathCounts Committee has announced the winners of the 29th Annual State MathCounts Competition held Saturday, March 3. The top four students — David Chang and Jion Kato of Washington Middle School, Mark Klein of Punahou School and Jesse Doan of Seabury Hall — will now comprise the Official Hawaii State MathCounts team and represent Hawaii at the National Competition in Orlando, Florida on May 11, 2012. The team will be led by Washington Middle School math coach Mr. Sung Park, whose team captured first place honors at the Oahu Chapter and Hawaii State competitions. In addition to winning the state competition, the Washington Middle School team placed first in the Oahu Chapter competition on February 25. [...]

Big Isle wellness program launches with 17 projects

The Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC) has selected 17 community-based projects for its Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Program aiming to effect positive changes in people’s eating, physical activity and tobacco use habits. Supported by approximately $300,000 of HIBC’s federal funding, the HEAL Projects will run through February 2013 and directly reach over 15,000 Hawaii Island residents in all regions, of all ages, from diverse ethnic groups—including those most at risk. “We received numerous applications for the HEAL Program from all communities, demonstrating that the people of Hawaii Island are ready to make healthy living a priority,” said Susan B. Hunt, MHA, project director and CEO of HIBC. “We are proud to support 17 HEAL Projects that will deliver innovative, targeted outreach into the communities where it is needed most. As HIBC witnesses and supports the growth of a movement to improve health and health care, we hope to catalyze even greater synergy among organizations and advance the development of long-term solutions.” [...]

STEM Week to celebrate Hawaii education efforts

The fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are critical to the future of Hawaii and the U.S., with major initiatives launching nationwide to ensure that today’s students become tomorrow’s innovators and leaders. Next month, the inaugural Hawaii STEM Week will bring together a wide range of local stakeholders to highlight these critical areas of education, and encourage greater community support and industry engagement. Scheduled to run concurrently with the Hawaii State Science & Engineering Fair (HSSEF), STEM Week will feature events to recognize excellence among Hawaii’s schools, connect students and practitioners with relevant employers and careers, and award local institutions for their work in advancing STEM education. [...]

Foundation announces $450,000 in Innovation Fund awards

The Hawaii Community Foundation announced the second round of grant recipients from its Island Innovation Fund, which was created to serve as a catalyst for innovation within the nonprofit sector. From a group of eight finalists, a total of $480,591 was awarded to five recipients for projects that will: increase energy awareness through real-time energy monitoring web and mobile application tools; allow residents statewide to actively follow and monitor the Hawaii legislative process; distribute a replicable exercise and fall prevention program to Hawaii’s seniors; deploy a new access control mechanism to maintain public access to trails and pathways on Hawaii Island; and encourage schools to eliminate its waste to create green schools. For the first time, a “People’s Choice Award” was also selected by the more than 200 nonprofits that submitted proposals over the first and second grant rounds. [...]

Governor: Invest now for Hawaii’s future

There was no way for us to have balanced our budget and achieved today’s fiscally favorable outlook without the commitment of everyone. To all of you who came to work each day bearing the burden of cuts and slashes to your programs for the past three years; and to those of you who gave up furloughs because of your commitment to serving Hawaii’s people, I thank you. Mahalo plenty to each and every one of you. Together, we are moving forward. And moving forward means leaving behind the drama of the recent past. [...]