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Two local students place in Hawaii Science Contest

HONOLULU, HI  — Charu Joserose, a 9th grader at, Tafuna High School and Leo Pastorfide, in grade 10 at South Pacific Academy placed third and fifth respectively at last weekend’s Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability (PS3) in Honolulu.

The PS3 is organized and hosted by the Hawai‘i Academy of Science (HAS), a private non-profit organization dedicated to promote scientific research & education in Hawai‘i and the Pacific Rim. The program is sponsored through a grant that brings high school students together for a weekend of science related activities and social events, which includes the all-day competition at the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa Campus.

Two Mililani High School students won first and second place and will represent Hawai‘i at the 2013 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS), along with the two students from American Samoa and a student from Kamehameha Schools who placed in the top five at the PS3 competition.

The PS3 is a regional competition open to all high school students in Hawai‘i and the Pacific Region. This year’s competition involved 75 students from Oahu, Maui, Hawai‘i Island, as well as Micronesia and American Samoa.

Viola Mocz, grade 11, won First Place with her research, “New Ideas in Physics: The Mass Ratio of Elementary Particles From Torus Geometry.” 

Glenn Galvizo, grade 12, was awarded Second Place for his project, “Engineering a Blind Sensory Stick to Aid the Visually Impaired.”

The three other students who were awarded scholarships and an invitation to attend the national competition as observers are:

3rd Place – Charu Joserose, grade 9, Tafuna High School (Am. Samoa)

4th Place – Nathan Lee, grade 11, Kamehameha School

5th Place – Leo Pastorfide, grade 10, South Pacific Academy (Am. Samoa)

Third Place winner, Charu Joserose, will also present a poster at JSHS. 

The JSHS takes place on May 1-5, 2013 and all invited students receive an expense paid trip to the competition at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio. Over 400 students orally present their scientific or engineering research to a panel of judges.  Winning finalists from the JSHS move on to represent the United States at the London International Youth Science Forum.

“The Hawai‘i Academy of Science is honored to coordinate an event as prestigious as the PS3,” said Amada Lowrey, Ph.D., Director of PS3, “The students are highly motivated young researchers from all disciplines in the science and engineering fields.”

 “What’s amazing is the variety and originality of projects from the islands as well as around the Pacific,” said Andrea Fleig, Ph.D., Vice-Chair of the HAS Board of Directors, “A competition such as PS3 brings together the different cultures and enriches student experiences.”

For more information about HAS, see