Team is first in Maui soil contest

Four head to state contest Friday


Brendan Otani, Kylie Pastor, Konapiliahi Dancil, and Zachary Luis won the team portion of the competition.

The soil team from KS Maui placed first overall, in the Maui qualifier of the Hawaiʻi Soil Awareness Conservation Contest last month, and the members with the top four scores will go on to represent the valley isle in the state contest in the Hilo and Hamakua areas of the island of Hawaiʻi, this Friday, Nov. 20.

Mr. Iwamura took a handful of his Environmental Science science to compete in the soil contest on Tuesday, Oct. 20. There, his students demonstrated their knowledge of Hawaiian water and soil resources at two agricultural sites and one home site.

The club consisted of seven team members including seniors Konapiliahi Dancil, Leimana Puu, Kylie Pastor, Chrystal Cardoza, and Justin Delos Santos, and juniors Brendan Otani and Zachary Luis.

“The day of the contest felt like any other, but to me, I was amped because I had a feeling that we were going to do well as a team,” Luis said.

Out of the 21 participants from various Maui schools, he earned 2nd place, and Dancil placed 4th for overall individual score.

Mr. Iwamura said that the other team members “also did a fantastic job representing Kamehameha.” They competed with St. Anthony, Maui and Baldwin High Schools, and a homeschooled team.

“The hardest part was actually doing the contest, where we stood in the blazing sun for an hour straight,” Otani said.

The contest tested the contestants’ knowledge of natural resources and conservation concepts. They analyzed physical features such as soil depth and texture, permeability, rate of erosion, and environmental conditions for three separate land sites. Through analysis, the students were to determine the best uses for the land. 

“This year’s participants have done an exceptional job in preparation for the contest.  The contest was not a requirement, and participation was 100% optional,” Mr. Iwamura said. 

The students who wanted to participate would come in on their free time to study. Mr. Iwamura also held meetings and mock contests on Tuesdays and Thursday to help the students practice. 

“To prepare ourselves for the next level of competition, we gotta work, study and try to shoot for perfect scores,” Luis said. In preparation for the upcoming state contest, students have continued to practice in Mr. Iwamura’s room every Tuesday and Thursday.