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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 15, 2010

Big Island teen wins big with science

Advertiser Staff

Nolan Kamitaki, a senior at Waiākea High School on the Big Island, yesterday won three awards and $9,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in San Jose, Calif.

He was among six Hawai'i high school students to receive awards at the prestigious exposition. In all, 23 Hawai'i students presented projects at the fair.

Kamitaki won a first-place Grand Award, with a $3,000 prize; a Best of Category Award, with a $5,000 personal prize and a $1,000 check to his school; and an American Statistical Association Award, with a $1,000 prize.

His project was titled "Gene Dosage and Expression in Human Lymphoblastoid Cell Lines."

Megan Kurohara and Hannah Rojeski, Hilo High School juniors, won a second-place Grand Team Award and share a $1,500 prize for "A New Spin on Green Energy: Increasing Hydrogen Evolution in a Spirulina Derived Photobiological System."

Mali'o Kodis, a Waiākea High senior, won a fourth-place Grand Award and $500 for "Diversity of Foliar Fungal Endophytes in Wild and Cultured Metrosideros Polymorpha Inferred From Environmental PCR and ITS Sequence Data."

Michael Flynn and Taylor Nakamura, Maui High School juniors, won a fourth-place Grand Team Award for "Muon Detection at Elevation."

Flynn also won the European Organization for Nuclear Research special award and will receive an expenses-paid trip to the organization's CERN facility, which spans France and Switzerland.

More than 1,500 students representing about 50 countries attended this year's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.