UH Launches Pacific ICT Initiative

The College of Social Sciences (CSS) at UH Mānoa has established the Pacific Information and Communication Technology for Development Collaborative (PICTDC). PICTDC is an innovative interdisciplinary initiative focusing on the social and economic implications of information and communications technology in the Pacific region.

The collaborative emphasizes the potential uses of technology for social good, promotion of digital inclusiveness, sustainable improvement in quality of life, and empowerment of public discourse on good governance.

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Dashboard to track Hawaii innovation launched

Hawaii’s progress in fostering and capitalizing on innovation can now be tracked on a new interactive dashboard launched today.

The “Hawaii Innovation Matters” dashboard was created through a partnership between UHERO and local coding bootcamp DevLeague, with support from the Hawaii Business Roundtable.

UHERO said that innovation is the key to economic growth and prosperity, accounting for roughy half of the increase observed in U.S. gross domestic product. As a result, “it is important to be able to track our progress over time and to see how Hawaii stacks up against other states and localities.”

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UH leads $20 million study on water quality, policy

The National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to the University of Hawaii to do a five-year, groundbreaking study of water sustainability issues through a collaboration called ‘Ike Wai. UH officials say the project will provide critical data and data models to water resource stakeholders.

Increasing population, changing land use practices and issues relating to climate change are contributing to growing concerns over water quality and quantity in Hawaii.

“Water really is life,” said UH President David Lassner.

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Treat jellyfish stings with heat, not cold

When confronted with a jellyfish sting, people often reach for an ice pack for relief. But a new study out of the University of Hawaii has found that the opposite approach is more effective.

A recent study by researchers at UH Mānoa, published this month in the journal Toxins, may finally put to rest the ongoing debate about whether to use cold or heat to treat jellyfish stings. Their systematic and critical review provides overwhelming evidence that clinical outcomes from all kinds of jellyfish stings are improved following treatment with hot packs or hot-water immersion.

Jellyfish stings are a growing public health concern worldwide and are responsible for more deaths than shark attacks each year.

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Hawaiian language poetry, writing competition launched

A new Hawaiian poetry and writing competition is now accepting entries. The first of its kind, “He Hookuku Mele a Moolelo” (Poetry and Short Story Competition), is open to people of all ages from around the world, and is aimed at increasing skill and proficiency in the Hawaiian language.

The only requirements to compete are an Internet connection to submit contest entries and the ability to compose or write in olelo Hawaii, the Hawaiian language.

“There are many places to learn Hawaiian now, but this kind of effort links up all the learners, and even the teachers, in a fun, “give it your very best” kind of competition. This contest will generate new poetry and short stories that the whole Hawaiian language community can enjoy.” says Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, a professor of Hawaiian language at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a multi-award-winning composer, and the executive director of Awaiaulu, Inc., the organization sponsoring the competition.

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Tech-Savvy Educator Named Windward Teacher of the Year

Stephanie Mew of Kapunahala Elementary is the 2016 Windward District Teacher of the Year. The third-grade instructor has taught at the Kaneohe school for 13 years and possesses 26 years of professional teaching experience.

Known for her high energy, Mew incorporates topics that interest her into her classroom to inspire students. Topics have included technology, engineering, math, robotics, science and gardening. Fostering creativity, Mew also teaches that failure is sometimes good.

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Hiki Nō Festival showcases student video stories

The public is invited to view outstanding student-produced video stories on the big screen at PBS Hawaii’s first-ever Hiki Nō Festival. The featured stories, produced last school year, have aired on PBS Hawaii’s student news program, Hiki Nō, and are nominated in this year’s Hiki Nō Awards. Hiki Nō is Hawaii’s first statewide student news network, made up of 86 public, private and charter schools from across the islands. Through the production of video news stories about their schools and communities, students gain valuable workforce and life skills, while teachers engage their students in hands-on, collaborative learning.

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Three UH scientists selected for Mars rover teams

NASA has announced the selection of seven science instruments to be included on the Mars 2020 rover. Three scientists from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) — Sarah Fagents, Shiv Sharma and Anupam Misra — will be members on the instrument teams to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet. The new rover will carry sophisticated hardware and instruments to perform geological assessments of the rover’s landing site, determine the potential habitability of the environment, and directly search for signs of ancient Martian life.

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East-West Center Welcomes 128 New Student Fellows

For the first time in the East-West Center’s history, students from Oceania comprise the largest percentage of incoming EWC student participants, thanks to the establishment of the Center’s Pacific Islands Leadership Program and several other new programs geared toward Pacific islanders. Students also hail from the U.S., most countries in Asia, and as far away as Italy and Zambia.

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Leaf Doctor: UH plant expert launches third app

Fresh from his success with two widely utilized smartphone apps, plant pathologist Scot Nelson has created a new and more technical app, the Leaf Doctor, for a more specialized audience.

Nelson, who works at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii, doesn’t anticipate that the Leaf Doctor will have the same broad, popular appeal as his Plant Doctor app. For many of those who will use the Leaf Doctor, though, it is likely to be a professional game-changer.

The Leaf Doctor focuses on the finer points of diagnosing plant diseases.

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Bike Commuting Celebrated on Thursday

This year’s “BikeUHM,” the annual appreciation and promotional event for those who cycle and who are thinking of cycling to UH Mānoa, coincides with the University’s Earth Day Festival on Thursday, April 24. “BikeUHM 2014: Earth Cycles” will be held along Legacy Path (near Dole Street) from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

To further enhance the cycling experience at UH Mānoa, the University has implemented Sharrow lanes (shared by both motorists and bicyclists) and free bike parking in any of the more than 150 racks positioned around campus. Coming soon is the installation of a secure, enclosed bike shelter in the Lower Campus Parking Structure and bike-share stations on campus, as recommended in a recent feasibility study for bike-sharing in Honolulu.

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Windward District’s Science Fair Marks 28th Year

More than 200 students from 31 Windward Oahu schools will present over 160 projects at the annual Windward District’s Science and Engineering Fair.

Setup begins today at Windward Community College, with judging tomorrow morning and displays open to the public in the afternoon. Winners will be announced on Saturday.

This year marks the event’s 28th year, and the three-day program is organized by vice principals from schools spanning from Waimanalo to Sunset Beach. In addition to the competition, it offers sixth- through tenth-graders several breakout sessions and presentations by college professors as a way to inspire Hawaii’s future scientists.

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Sheet metal roses return for Valentine’s Day

The annual “Forever Rose” sale by the Sheet Metal and Plastics Program at HCC started as a bet over 15 years ago.

“An apprenticeship student challenged me to make a rose out of sheet metal,” recalls Danny Aiu, Associate Professor of the program. “That night with a strip of sheet metal I molded a rose with my hands. Today, our students apply their skills by operating a plasma cutter, chemicals and other tools used in the trade to create each rose one by one.”

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Hawaii hosts first VEX robotics state championships

Forty middle and high school VEX robotics teams from across the state will compete in the first-ever Hawaii VEX State Championship on Dec. 20-21, 2013 at Honolulu Community College. The event is free and open to the public.

“For the robotics teams and individuals, the state Championship is a brand new event comparable to regional Olympics in terms of the level of competition, skill and discipline required,” said Art Kimura of the VEX Steering Committee. “In this ‘sport,’ the students are using science, technology, engineering and math skills to maneuver their robots in a fast-paced, exciting game challenge to score points. While they are having fun, the students also are developing life skills that are vital to success in a 21st century global market.”

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Student breakthrough innovation winners announced

A team of students from the University of Hawaii College of Engineering and the School of Architecture captured the top prize in the UH Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) Breakthrough Innovation Challenge (BIC) for their Namib beetle inspired building material.

“The Breakthrough Innovation Challenge was a unique competition that forced us to think outside of our comfort zones and look to nature for inspiration,” says Monica Umeda, Cloud Catcher team leader. “These competitions are effective catalysts to help stimulate the type of innovation Hawaii desperately needs.”

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Second annual STEM Week in the works

The Hawaii Academy of Sciences (HAS) this week is putting out an early call to the state’s most innovative companies and organizations to help set the stage for the second annual STEM Week Hawaii.

STEM Week Hawaii is a multi-day celebration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education across the state, organized by HAS and supported by the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

The 2013 program will expand upon the first STEM Week Hawaii, held in April. Scheduled to run concurrently with the 56th Hawaii State Science & Engineering Fair (HSSEF), several special events will culminate in a gala awards dinner. These events include an Industry Exposition and Job Fair, which gives local businesses and organizations an opportunity to demonstrate their technology and services, and two fast-paced “Ignite STEM Week” presentations that will showcase some of the cutting-edge research and development taking place in Hawaii.

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye was on hand to present the inaugural STEM Week Hawaii awards, which recognized STEM programs at 14 local schools. Mililani High and Highlands Intermediate schools took statewide honors, and Hawaiian Electric Company received the first Daniel K. Inouye Award for Commitment to STEM Education.

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Nine Hawaii students win awards at international science fair

Nine Hawaii students earned recognition, over $7,500 in cash awards, and even an overseas travel opportunity this week at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest international student science competition.

The premier pre-college science event culminated today at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. In all, two dozen high school students from Hawaii public, private, and home schools represented the Aloha State.

At today’s Grand Awards ceremony, three Hawaii students were recognized for their work in life sciences. Danielle Lyn Keahi, 18, of Kamehameha Schools at Kapalama on ‘Oahu, tooksecond place overall in Medicine and Health. She received $1,500 for her work on mutated cells in mice.

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Waikiki Aquarium seeks kids’ YouTube videos

The Waikiki Aquarium has become a partner with Youth on Board, a collaborative project with Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in California and Nausicaa Aquarium in Boulogne, France. The program encourages young people to tell others about the ocean near where they live in a humorous, one-minute video. Videos will be uploaded to the respective aquarium’s YouTube channel for the world to see.

All videos will be entered into a contest and one will be selected at each partner aquarium as the Youth on Board Video of the year. Applications are due on April 20, 2012, with videos being due on May 24, 2012.

“Our oceans are all interconnected and so it’s critical that we not only learn how to care for our own marine life but also learn about the marine life in other parts of the world,” said Aquarium Director Dr. Andrew Rossiter. “The Youth on Board program encourages youth to be inspired to take care of the ocean by learning about the diversity of marine species that call the ocean home. Our hope is that through the video-making process and viewing portion of this contest, the young people of our community will develop a deeply-rooted appreciation for our delicate ocean ecosystem.”

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Hawaii students headed to international science fair

Two dozen high school students from Hawaii public, private, and home schools will travel to Pittsburgh next month to represent the Aloha State at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest international pre-college science competition.

The students took top honors in their respective categories at the 55th Annual Hawaii State Science & Engineering Fair (HSSEF), held April 2-4 at the Hawaii Convention Center. Over 700 students from schools across the state participated in the HSSEF, the oldest and largest science education program in Hawaii and the showcase event of the Hawaii Academy of Science.

The Intel ISEF allows more than 1,500 high school students from 65 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research as they compete for over $4 million annually. This premier global science event will be held May 13-18, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pa., and will give Hawaii students a chance to showcase their efforts, and an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and engineers from around the world.

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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.”

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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.

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