UH Hilo faculty and students help ignite the love of science

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Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo faculty and students held two science events at an elementary school in Hilo in early May to help enrich the students’ passion for science.

Approximately 150 elementary students worked with a team of scientists to extract DNA from strawberries at Ha`aheo Elementary School’s Standard Showcase event. “The students learned the biological importance of DNA and had fun doing hands-on science,” said Abby Cuttriss, UH Hilo assistant professor of biology, who coordinated the team of fellow scientists made up of Brian Perry, UH Hilo assistant professor of biology, Laura Warman, research ecologist at USDA Forest Service, and Gregory Mott, science teacher at Mountain View Elementary School.

Another event featured a hands-on science demonstration for the 3rd and 4th grade classes that showcased the important aspects of chemistry. Led by UH Hilo students Francis Sakai-Kawada and Alyssa Sato, and organized by Mrs. Macleod of Ha`aheo Elementary School and Mazen Hamad, UH Hilo assistant professor of chemistry, students conducted their own experiments featuring the concepts of chemical reactions, surface tension, and the differences between hydrophobic and hydrophilic substances.

“My favorite thing about today is we got to do the experiment by ourselves and I learned something,” one student commented. Another student said, “I learned many new words and when I told my Mom, she was proud.”

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