Lahaina teacher directing first Maui Regional Science Olympiad
LAHAINA — All systems are set for the first Maui Regional Science Olympiad Tournament to be held on Jan. 29 at the University of Hawaii-Maui College campus.
“As a science teacher and advocate for the advancement of critical thinking skills, I’m excited about this event, knowing that Maui middle and high school students are given the opportunity to compete here on Maui rather than going to a neighbor island,” said Flaviana Ancheta, Maui regional director and Lahaina Intermediate School teacher.
Currently, there are three regional tournaments in place at Leeward Oahu, Windward Oahu and Kauai.
“Since it is the first time we have this, we conducted the New Coach Workshop last September, primarily aimed at helping the schools organize their teams, getting familiar with the different events and preparing the students to participate in one of the most exciting team-based science competitions in Hawaii,” Ancheta explained.
The Lahaina Intermediate science teacher said the purpose of the Science Olympiad is to improve the quality of science education, promote student interest in science and recognize teachers and students for outstanding achievement in the field.
The tournament consists of two divisions: Division B for middle school students and Division C for high schoolers.
Division B events include Experimental Design, Disease Detective, Dynamic Planet, Fossil, and Bottle Rocket.
Division C events include Chemistry Lab, Anatomy, Astronomy, Disease Detective, and Towers.
Clearview School, H.P. Baldwin High School, King Kekaulike High School, Kihei Charter School, Lahaina Intermediate, Lahainaluna High School, Lokelani Intermediate School, Maui Preparatory Academy, Maui High School and St. Anthony Junior-Senior High are slated to compete.
The three schools that score the highest in each division will compete in the Statewide Regional Tournament on March 5 at Leeward Community College on Oahu.
At the statewide tournament, the school that garners the highest points in each division will represent Hawaii in the National Science Olympiad Tournament at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 18-21, Ancheta explains.
Maui’s first contest is presented by the Hawaii State Science Olympiad in partnership with the Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Women in Technology Project and the University of Hawaii-Maui College. The Science Olympiad Tournament is funded in part by the Air Force Research Laboratory.
“I would like to thank all the volunteer supervisors and judges for sharing their expertise, and Isla Young and her staff at MEDB’s Women In Technology Project for helping us coordinate and providing logistic support,” Ancheta said.
Last year, Maui Preparatory Academy represented Hawaii in Division B during the National Science Olympiad Tournament at the University of Illinois. They ranked seventh in Ecology at the contest.