A couple of thoughts for Earth Day. First off, I like the comment I heard from Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods." He did a presentation at a conference I was at last year, then passed the microphone. Folks in the audience proceeded to share a wide variety of horror stories of kids not connected to nature and how things are just going to keep getting worse.
Richard finished with a very telling remark though, he said. "If our children cannot imagine a future that they want to live in, then we have lost."
Last year I initiated some awards from HIMB to science fair kids at the State level. With Richard's remark in mind, I picked my winners for this year's Junior Research division. I intended to give out only two awards, but - the kids were so into it and their projects so entertaining that I had to add another in.
Emily Aiko Kurth (8)
What Killed the Fish In Honolulu Harbor? The Effect of Molasses On Dissolved Oxygen Levels In Salt Water.
Malia S Splittsoesser (6); Pierce A Bivens (8)
Plankton Population Across Kauai
Brycen Kawamoto (8)
PH Effects on Halimeda Sand
It was very interesting to talk with the students about their work. One of the projects did not come out the way the student hoped at all. Another got part of an answer but not all. The plankton mapping team was visibly excited about their project and couldn't wait to talk about it.
HIMB's Carlie Weiner and Dr. Judy Lemus also gave an award for the Senior Research Division. Their winner was Castle H.S.'s Sarah Wieble for "How well Batis maritimea and Sesuvium portulacastrum will grow in a static hydroponic system under conditions encountered on the Hokule'a. This was also a wonderful project.
Overall, these students all had very different personalities, they did not all think the same way, they approached their subjects slightly differently but - they all thought through their problems to the best of their abilities and - they all had great brains!
They helped me imagine a future that I want to live in.
Have a great EARTH DAY!