Now, more than ever, Hawaii’s students must improve their performance in science. At the elementary level, students are building their knowledge base that will serve as a gateway for future science courses and, ultimately, future career choices.
On May 9, 2015, over 40 elementary students from around Molokai tested their scientific brain power in the First Annual Molokai Science Olympiad. Held at Kaunakakai Elementary School, these 3rd through 6th grade students worked in teams, challenging each other in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) events.
Our own Edward “Kaiao” Goodhue, a civil engineer on Molokai, was one of the four judges of this well-attended Science Olympiad. For the Molokai High (class of 2004) and Air Force Academy graduate (class of 2008), it was an opportunity to give back to the community he was born and raised in.
“Looking back on my childhood, it was the people acting in a voluntary capacity who created the amazing quality of life I enjoyed growing up in,” stated Kaiao, who also graduated from Kilohana Elementary School on island. “I have come full circle, returning to Molokai with a desire to give back to the community and create the environment I want my children to grow up in.”
The Olympiad events involved the students sharing their STEM knowledge. “3, 2, 1 Blast Off” featured launching rockets made from soda bottles and pressurized with water and air. Another event, “Describe It, Build It,” involved technical writing and engineering skills.
In “Bridge-a-Roni,” two of our future GBI engineers designed and constructed the lightest pasta bridge of the competition, with the highest structural efficiency. Sairus Tancayo (grand-nephew of foreman supervisor Kaiwi Place) and Owen Svetin (son of assistant Molokai regional manager Todd Svetin) placed first with their penne, bucatini, and “hot glue” creation. Their bridge was the only one in the competition that did not break and held a load of approximately 15kg.
With future occupations moving rapidly in the direction of STEM, it is important that Molokai students benefit from every opportunity they are given to further their science education.
Mahalo to the Hawaii State Science Olympiad and Goodfellow Bros. Inc. for providing monetary and voluntary support to improve the learning of science for all students and to celebrate their efforts on the island of Molokai