Micah Bournes at Pearl City High tackled a timely issue for his senior project: the use of smartphones or cell phones in school settings. Recognizing the cell phone dependency of the digital generation, Micah decided to create a storage unit for cell phone charging that could be stored in any classroom with a sufficient number of stalls to accommodate everyone’s phones during the class without the danger of short circuiting in the outlets.
Leilani Luis, a senior at Pearl City High, has always been interested in the effects of personal care products on our health and the environment. She decided to tackle a senior project that allowed her to investigate the chemicals in products, many of them being carcinogens and irritants that are absorbed by the skin in significant amounts. She ultimately created a product that she describes as an “entirely natural, cruelty-free and environmentally friendly hollow ball of glycerin soap filled with a liquid castile soap.” Continue reading
Persistence and resourcefulness are critical traits in conducting research and designing projects. Ethan Toriki, a junior at Leilehua, and his colleagues in the Leilehua High School Eco Team, aka as the Natural Resource Guides (NRG), learned this firsthand when they decided to tackle the staging of a Sustainable Sun Day seminar on solar photovoltaics. They invited local companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations to participate in an ambitious undertaking to bring Hawaii residents closer to a greener and sustainable energy future. They even planned for door prizes, distribution of solar chargers, and valuable coupons. Unfortunately, plans fell through because of a sparse response.
Her concern for issues of sustainability and endangered native Hawaiian plants led Kalyn Bowen of Pearl City High to conduct an investigation of the Wailua River Yellow Loosestrife. In her project, she emphasized the importance of having an accurate taxonomy of this species by noting the genetic differences within the same species.
Persistence and commitment define the work that Woody Plaut is achieving at his new post as librarian at Konawaena Middle School. When his position at Konawaena High School was cut last year, Woody accepted the challenge of starting over at the junior high school that is a stone’s throw from the high school. According to Woody, the junior high school had not had a library media specialist for the last nine years. As a librarian, who received national board certification, Woody is an invaluable addition to the middle school’s professional community.