Agriscience team takes first place


Photo by courtesy of Mr. Iwamura

Senior Quinn Shiraishi holds the first place trophy up high as she celebrates the Kamehameha Maui sweep of the Maui County Soil and Water Conservation Contest with her teammates.

On Tuesday, the Agriscience team earned first place at the 2016 Annual Maui County Soil and Water Conservation Contest and also placed first-fourth individually. Those who won the individual awards will be going to the state contest on Kauaʻi in November.

Before the contest, students had to learn all the different physical features of land and under what conditions different factors would be problematic. They also need to be able to classify land.

To prepare, team members learned about erosion, slope, texture, and permeability. This took up a whole quarter and provided students an in-depth view of soil.

“I learned much more about soil then I ever knew. I didn’t know there were different characteristics [of soil],” junior Robyn Valle said.

Both of Mr. Duane Iwamura’s agriculture classes participated in mock contests during school, and the top 12 students were chosen to go to showcase what they have learned. The team members that were chosen were Matthew Mendiola, Brendan Otani (3rd), Kaimana Idica (4th), Kupono Aguirre (1st), Nikki McGuire (2nd), Quinn Shiraishi, Kaitlyn Evans, Robyn Valle, Anne-Marie “Anela” Greig, and Lily Gavagan.

After Otani finished inspecting his site, he found a mistake he had made, but time ran out before he could fix it, which cost him first or second place, but he felt he improved from last year because this year was his first time placing.

“I was happy for my classmates that got first and second place, as well as fourth,” Otani said.

At the contest, students were asked to observe the physical features of a site that was assigned to them and give it a land classification. Then they were to suggest practices that the land owner could do to use the land for what it is best suited.

This is the second year that Kamehameha Maui has won first place in the Maui County Soil and Water Conservation Contest, but Mr. Iwamura was still astonished with their win.

“We swept the whole contest, and I’ve never seen that happen before,” he said.