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UH West Oʻahu Students Capture National STEM Conference Award
From left, Michael Furuto, Thalia Lawrence, Kristin Umakoshi and Kriselyn Cortado.
A teacher and 3 students in front of a science poster

From left, Michael Furuto, Thalia Lawrence, Kristin Umakoshi and Kriselyn Cortado.

University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu students Kriselyn Cortado, Thalia Lawrence and Kristin Umakoshi were awarded the Undergraduate Student Poster Presentation Award in the Mathematics at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference in Salt Lake City, October 19–21. The SACNAS conference featured more than 1,000 student research presentations.

The students performed an ethnographic case study in a diverse college algebra classroom at UH West Oʻahu. They discovered a positive correlation among group work, student engagement and student mathematics self-efficacy, which in turn increases participation, enhances mathematics comprehension and elevates mathematics achievement.

“All of the Kikaha STEM Student Researchers made important contributions to their respective fields and winning the award was fantastic news for UH West Oʻahu,” said Michael Furuto, UH West Oʻahu assistant professor of mathematics, who served as faculty advisor for the winning group. Furuto helped guide, direct and support the students’ research.

The three students were part of a contingent of UH West Oʻahu students and faculty who traveled to the conference. The group also included students Alexander Bautista, Morgan Dutkoski, Arion Northrup, Destiny Mabalot and Christine Baltazar, along with mentors Furuto and Assistant Professors Kamuela Yong, Olivia George and Megan Ross. Bautista, Dutkoski and Northrup also made presentations.

For more on the UH West Oʻahu’s efforts to promote undergraduate research, read the full story at E Kamakani Hou.

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