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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 7, 2010

$425,000 in stimulus funds given to support Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair

Advertiser Staff

As 23 students prepared to leave to compete in the international Science and Engineering fair, the Hawaii program got a big financial boost.

Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona gave $425,000 to the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair this morning to fund the year-round program and to expand teacher training.

"It sends a very needed message that the state supports education particularly in the science, technology, engineering and math," said Eric DeCarlo, Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair executive council member and University of Hawaii

Department of Oceanography professor.

The student finalists will compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world's largest international pre-college science competition in San Jose Sunday through Friday.

The science fair is sponsored by the nonprofit Hawaii Academy of Science, which provides sixth- through 12th-grade students the opportunity to conduct research and present their work in a professional setting, judged by scientists. Last year nearly 7,000 students participated in science fairs, 500 went up to the state level and 20 finalists competed at the international level with 55 other countries.

Funding previously had been given by state lawmakers, said Bruce Anderson, president-elect of the Hawaii Academy of Science. Founded in 1925, the academy supports the science fair, which this year had to seek private donations since state funding was withdrawn.