Volcano Watch: Centennial poster contest winners honored by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Hawai`i Island 4th grade student Jyron Young was awarded the Grand Prize in HVO’s centennial poster contest for his stunning artwork depicting 100 years of volcano watching (top center). USGS photo.

Hawai`i Island 4th grade student Jyron Young was awarded the Grand Prize in HVO’s centennial poster contest for his stunning artwork depicting 100 years of volcano watching (top center). USGS photo.

(Volcano Watch is a weekly article written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.)

The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently honored Hawai`i Island students who created winning posters celebrating the observatory’s 100th anniversary. The award ceremony was held during HVO’s centennial open house on January 21, 2012.

HVO, which has continuously monitored Hawaiian eruptions and earthquakes since the observatory was founded in 1912, hosted the poster contest to commemorate its centennial milestone. Because volcanic processes and scientific observation are included in Hawai`i’s 4th grade science curriculum, we targeted that grade level for the contest.

In an announcement last fall, Hawai`i Island 4th grade students were invited to create posters conveying a message about HVO’s work in monitoring Hawaiian volcanoes. Within some set guidelines, students were free to focus on the historical, scientific or cultural aspects of volcano watching—or all three—as they designed and created their posters.

We had no idea whether, or how many, students would participate in HVO’s contest, but the response far exceeded our expectations: 217 posters were submitted by students from 16 different schools around the Island.

A panel of five judges—a scientist, an educator, a retired art center director, a radio host, and a marketing manager—selected first, second, and third place winners from each of the three Hawai`i Department of Education (DOE) Complex Areas and one overall Grand Prize winner. Choosing the 10 best of 217 amazing posters was not an easy task, but through careful and thoughtful consideration of each poster, the judges eventually identified the winners.

Jyron Young, who was a student at Waiakeawaena Elementary School when he created his stunning poster, is the Grand Prize winner. While at Waiakeawaena, his teachers were Susan Lee and Ada Kubo.

The Ka`u–Kea`au–Pahoa DOE Complex Area honorees include two students from Malamalama Waldorf School: first place winner Elijah Lacks-Park and second place winner Yasmine Butterfield, both of whom are taught by Lynn Pena. Third place winner Caitlyn Long attends Na`alehu Elementary School, and her teacher is Hettie Rush.

In the Hilo–Laupahoehoe–Waiakea DOE Complex Area, the first place winner is Bryce Camacho, a Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School student in Kim Springer’s class. Second place winner Meghan Veincent attends Keaukaha Elementary School and created her poster under the guidance of Kumu Lurline Agbayani. The third place honoree is Julianne Lee, a Waiakeawaena Elementary School student taught by Susan Lee (no relation).

The Honoka`a–Kealakehe–Kohala–Konawaena DOE Complex Area first place winner is Ava Hunter, a Waikoloa Elementary School student in Jenna Nakao’s class. The other two honorees are Honoka`a Elementary School students: second place winner Kaddison Quiocho and third place winner Jannabel Bielza. Their teacher is Cindy Sharp.

Prizes awarded to these students were selected to reflect the work of HVO—observing and documenting volcanic and earthquake activity in Hawai`i. The awards included a digital camera (grand prize), binoculars (first place), a geologic hand lens (second place), and a mini-LED microscope (third place). Each winner also received a copy of “Volcano Watching,” written by a former HVO Scientist-in-Charge, the late Bob Decker, and his wife, Barbara. All awards were donated by current and former HVO staff.

Six posters also received honorable mentions based on their artistic or thematic merit. Ribbons will be awarded to students who created these posters: Giselle Valdovinos, Holualoa Elementary; Chloe Hughes, St. Joseph Elementary; Halia Buchal, Parker Elementary; Zoey Block, Malamalama Waldorf; Keala Pule, Ka `Umeke Ka`eo; and Lexus Balinbin, Pahoa Elementary.

In addition to the individual student awards, all teachers who took part in the contest will receive a set of USGS educational materials for the benefit of every student in their classrooms.

All posters were displayed at KTA Superstores in Hilo, Kamuela, and Kailua until February 10. The 10 winning and 6 honorable mention posters can still be viewed on HVO’s website hvo.wr.usgs.gov

HVO thanks the 217 students and their teachers for participating in the contest, the judges who selected the winners, and KTA Superstores for displaying the students’ work. We also thank the public libraries in Hilo, Honoka`a, North Kohala, Kailua-Kona, Kealakekua, Na`alehu, and Pahoa for serving as drop-off points for poster submissions.

Congratulations to HVO’s centennial poster contest winners! Job well done!

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