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Science students find competition and motivation

The team of high school students representing American Samoa at the Pacific Science Symposium for Science and Sustainability (PS3) in Honolulu, Hawaii two weeks ago are back in the classroom motivated to do their best and are considering future careers in the science field.


Charu Joserose and Koroseta Butler were American Samoa’s semi-finalists. They presented in the Semi-Finals Session, competing against 10 other semi-finalists from Hawaii’s schools, including one from Pohnpei. Charu was selected among six finalists and competed in the Finals round. Overall, she placed fourth and will be representing American Samoa in the National Symposium to be held in Washington D.C. in May of this year.


Taylor Jessop, Jaeleen Ozu, Tiara Drabble and Liana Gurr competed in their concurrent sessions. Three of them received Honorable Mention for being the first place winners in those sessions: Taylor Jessop, Tiara Drabble and Liana Gurr.


Here are their comments about this unique educational experience and the topics of their presentations:


KOROSETA BUTLER (Grade 11 – South Pacific Academy)


 “I had a very enjoyable, educational experience at the symposium. It was interesting to meet students from the islands of Hawai'i and Micronesia and hear their presentations. I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given and I hope to see more students from the territory participate in the science symposium.” Topic—The Comparison Between Tuna Processed Wastewater Flocculation Rates


JAELEEN OZU (Grade 12 –Tafuna High School)


“My experience in Hawaii was eye opening. I have realized that there are lots of really smart and advanced kids. Participating in this program motivate me to become more involved in my studies. I would like to thank DOE for providing us this great learning opportunity.” Topic – The Effect of Ants, Paratrechina Longicornis (Laterille) – Aphids aphis Gossypii Interaction on the Eggplant (Solenum melongena)


LIANA GURR (Grade 11 – Tafuna)


“Participating in the Pacific science symposium was a great honor and experience for me. It was amazing to see the different projects since the students from Hawaii have more advantages than we do. I had fun interacting with other students, especially when they were fascinated with our projects, and questioned us about it.” Topic – Food Preferences of Coconut Grabs (Birgus latro)


CHARU JOSEROSE (Grade 10 – Tafuna)


“I am excited to share my experiences. This is my second time, I am learning more and more every time. I feel this is a great opportunity for us to share and interact with other students from Hawaii and Pohnpei. I am looking forward to attend the National symposium in DC. I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to my parents, teachers, principal and my friends, and especially to DOE for giving us this great learning experience.” Topic – The Role of Homalanthus nutans (G. Frost) Guill as an Insect Growth Regulator


TIANA DRABBLE (Grade 11 – South Pacific Academy)


“This is the second time I’m invited to participate in the Hawaii symposium and it has been a wonderful experience for me. I’m now more motivated to pursue studies in the science fields as a high school student and looking forward to a science major in college. Meeting students outside of our own culture offer insight into what the world has to offer. I really enjoyed the learning experience!” Topic – Testing of Antibacterial Properties of Fungal Diffusates of Fusarium sp. and Collectotrichum sp. against Baccilus Subtilis


TAYLOR JESSOP (Grade 11 – South Pacific Academy)


Taylor Jessop was the winner of the local symposium and was not available to offer comments for this release. But she did share how much she enjoyed the opportunity while we were in Hawaii as it was an eye-opener to so many things that our local students do not have access to as well as what to expect if she were chosen to represent American Samoa once again. She received honorable mention for her concurrent session as she had placed first. Topic – The Effect of Derris Malaccensis Extract on Coptotermes formosanus


They were chaperoned by Mrs. Cecilia Tuionoula of South Pacific Academy and Mrs. Magdalene Augafa-Leaauanae of the DOE-Office of Curriculum and Instruction. The team departed the territory on Jan. 6 and returned on the 13th.