Science Symposium encourages young scientists
Utulei, AMERICAN SAMOA — This year marks the 25th Annual High School Science Symposium. It is a special project for high school students to provide a unique educational experience by exploring their common interests in the sciences. It is their opportunity to conduct field research by identifying an interesting topic and pursue it by conducting an investigation to find out more about it.
Students have the opportunity to look for mentors elsewhere besides their science teachers. They can shadow other scientists within government agencies or a science professor from higher education such as our very own American Samoa Community College. These are early steps to prepare them for any science related careers they are willing to undertake.
For years a team of five or more high school students represent American Samoa to the Pacific Science Symposium for Science and Sustainability (PS3) in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability is an annual event coordinated by the Hawaii Academy of Science and funded by the Department of the Army, Navy and Air Force to encourage high school students to pursue research and study in science, engineering and mathematics.
The regional competition is open to all high school students in grades 9-12. It provides a unique educational experience by bringing high school students from the Pacific Islands including Hawaii to share their studies. The symposium is also fashioned after professional conferences and includes field trips and social events.
The top six presenters of the local symposium have been accepted and are invited to present their research at the Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability (PS3) at the University of Hawaii-Manoa Campus on January 10-12, 2014.
These students are sponsored by the American Samoa Department of Education.
They are: (1) Ms. Taylor Jessop of South Pacific Academy; (2) Ms. Charu Joserose of Tafuna High School; (3) Ms. Jaeleen Ozu of Tafuna High School; (4) Ms. Tiara Drabble of South Pacific Academy; (5) Ms. Koroseta Butler of South Pacific Academy; and (6) Ms. Liana Gurr of Tafuna High School. They will be chaperoned by Mrs. Cecilia Tuionoula of South Pacific Academy and Mrs. Magdalene Augafa-Leaauanae of the DOE-Office of Curriculum and Instruction.
The team is expected to depart the territory on January 6 and return on January 13, 2014.
The local symposium was held on November 30, 2013 at ASCC Land Grant’s Conference Room. Student papers were reviewed by local Professionals, before the students were invited to present.
Other participating students of the local symposium included Ambika Murali of Leone High School, Anasthesia Ah-Futu of Tafuna High School, Faamaoni Schaff-Ili of Tafuna High School, Kimberly Iosefo of Tafuna High School, Lance Ivan Eustaquio of South Pacific Academy, and Neon Osa of Tafuna High School.
Special recognition goes out to students who also submitted papers for review in the first round of the symposium process: Alyssa Adriano (SPA), Celestine Shalhout (SPA), Dora Ah-Futu (THS), Jesse Scanlan (THS), Karly Butler (SPA), Krisean Tuitele (SPA), and Leuatea Faiai (LHS).
A special acknowledgement to this year’s symposium judges for their continuous support and advice. The judges were Dr. Ian Gurr of Land Grant, Mrs. Fatima S. Leau of NOAA, Dr. Domingo Ochavillo of Marine and Wildlife Resources, and Mr. Matt Lei of DOE-OCI. These special projects are coordinated by the Office of Curriculum and Instruction and sponsored by the Department of Education.
Many special thanks to all the parents and supporters in attendance to witness the presentations by these ‘future scientists’ of American Samoa, especially the Director of Education, Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau for taking the time out to be part of the audience in recognizing our students.
For any questions or inquiries regarding this special project, please contact Magdalene Augafa-Leauanae at the DOE-Office of Curriculum & Instruction (699-6516).
(Source: American Samoa Dept. of Education)