Iolani School

Honolulu, HI, United States

Iolani School

Honolulu, HI, United States
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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

On May 1-2, more than 1,000 students, educators, industry partners and community leaders throughout the state and the nation gathered for the 8th Annual Hawaii STEM Conference – an empowering STEM event dedicated to engaging a new generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) innovators in Hawaii. Presented by Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Women in Technology (WIT) project, the conference was held for the first time at the Hawaii Convention Center on Oahu. This year’s theme, “Download Knowledge. Upload Service,” invited students to demonstrate and showcase the skills and abilities they have gained to help create a thriving future, not only for Hawaii, but the world. Students and teachers representing intermediate and high schools from every island across the state of Hawaii participated in this regional technology conference which featured 40+ student breakout sessions, 30+ teacher breakout sessions, 14 software competitions, a STEM playground, a formal awards banquet (“The STEMMYS), and exhibit presentations. During the conference, Hawaii State Governor David Ige announced the offering of a Digital Alliance program for high school students across the State of Hawaii in the summer of 2018. A partnership between Microsoft, Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology Project (WIT) and the State of Hawaii; the Digital Alliance program will provide students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in computer science and/or in any STEM-related careers. The program is designed to promote critical and creative thinking; encourage collaboration with other students; and intersect with industry professionals in various Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. “Microsoft has done so much in our community and they are committed to assuring that many of you will have access to a lot of the great technology that is really defining the future for all of us,” said Hawaii State Governor David Ige. “And so the Maui Economic Development Board, State of Hawaii and Microsoft have formed a Digital Alliance partnership because we do understand that software development and access to the latest and greatest software tools gives our young people opportunities to explore all of these technologies. In today’s world anything can be done anywhere and it really is about who is brave enough to take it on and solve our world’s challenges.” While this year’s conference excelled in engaging students and educators on a myriad of hands-on STEM activities, competitions, and access to the latest technologies; it was the overarching mission of the state’s largest STEM conference that brought home the true impact of STEM education. According to Leslie Wilkins, MEDB Vice President, “Virtually every field in every sector of the economy whether a small business or major industry is needing STEM professionals – people who are literate and fluent in various technology skills. But just teaching current technology applications does not serve our children well, because technology changes so rapidly. So we need to focus on empowering our youth to be self-directed learners, to be resilient, to stay current and be adaptive to change and not be scared by it. And, most importantly, to have the confidence that they can do it. Instilling these values are at the heart of MEDB’s STEMworks™ program and what this conference is all about.” The 8th Annual Hawaii STEM Conference is sponsored by: Office of Naval Research U.S. Department of Education U.S. Department of Labor County of Maui MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund Microsoft Strada Education Network University of Hawaii at Manoa Hawaii Energy 21st Century Community Learning Centers Esri Hawaii Geographic Information Coordinating Council (HIGICC) Hawaiian Electric Company Opterra Energy Services Trimble SketchUp Central Pacific Bank Apple Inc. Creative Industries Hawaii Creative Lab Hawaii Autodesk National Security Agency STEM Pre-Academy Monsanto Ozobot King Kekaulike High School Maui High School ACOM Searider Productions Ben Franklin Crafts/Ace Hardware by HouseMart Blue Planet Camp CenterStage DevLeague Drone Services Hawaii Elemental Minds 3D Innovations Hawaii HCM Creative Media Team Hi FusionEd Iolani School The Janus Group Momilani Elementary School Maunakea Scholars National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Regional SATCOM Support Center-Pacific U.S. Army Space and Missle Defense Command Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership Seaglide Robonation STEMJOBS State of Hawaii Department of Labor State of Hawaii Department of Education University of Hawaii Manoa College of Engineering University of Hawaii, Maui College The Women in Technology Project is a statewide initiative of the Maui Economic Development Board. WIT is funded in part by the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture, Office of Naval Research, State of Hawaii, and the County of Maui. For more information on the 2017 Hawaii STEM Conference, visit http://womenintech.com/HawaiiSTEMConference or contact WIT Program K-12 STEM Education Director Isla Young at isla(at)medb(dot)org or 808-250-2888.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

New research examines how vertebrate species in the eastern United States ranging from snakes to mammals to birds responded to climate change over the last 500,000 years. The study, recently published in the journal Ecology Letters, reveals that contrary to expectation, the massive glaciers that expanded and contracted across the region affected animal populations in different ways at different times. The analysis provides a window into how animals might react to any kind of climate change, whether glacial cycles or global warming. "A big glacier should have affected everybody. It doesn't matter if you're a snake or a bird, it probably makes it hard to live there," said Frank Burbrink, an associate curator in the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Herpetology and lead author of the study. "So did these communities all change together as if they were one unit? There's never been a study that has comprehensively analyzed whether vertebrate communities responded to the glacial cycles in a uniform way." The most recent, rapid, and significant effect of global climate change occurred about 2.5 million years ago in the Quaternary period, when ice sheets expanded and contracted, altering both the environment and available land. In the area known as the Eastern Nearctic--defined as the forested and coastal regions of the eastern United States--glaciers extended as far south in the east to New York City and in the Midwest to south central Illinois. Temperature changed rapidly, in some cases at the rate of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius (about 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) within several decades. To analyze the impact of this climate change, multidisciplinary researchers from the Museum, the 'Iolani School in Honolulu, the City University of New York's College of Staten Island, and Louisiana State University focused on the historical population sizes of tetrapods--snakes, lizards, mammals, birds, turtles, salamanders, and frogs--in the Eastern Nearctic over the last 500,000 years. They did this by looking at the animals' genomes and modeling the likelihood of their populations growing or shrinking. "When a glacier retreats, all of the organisms that were pushed south move back into that space and the signal of those changing populations gets imprinted in the genome," Burbrink said. "If you look at any individual species, you can see what its population has been doing over time based on how many changes they have in their genome. When populations expand, they have more genetic differences. And when populations are small, they have fewer." The longstanding scientific thought is that as a glacier recedes, local populations will expand "synchronously," or all at the same time. But the researchers did not find a uniform response to climate change within the tetrapod community. About 75 percent of the animals went through a population expansion, with only about 50 percent of those lineages expanding together. And 25 percent of the populations contracted. The results imply that there are additional layers of complexity involved in this problem. "In some ways, the old idea that the glacier receding would have a single effect on everything in the community is naïve," Burbrink said. And what do the results mean for the global warming the Earth is currently facing? "We need to move beyond viewing communities as single units," said co-author Brian T. Smith, an assistant curator in the Museum's Department of Ornithology. "Some species will respond in one way and others will respond in other ways. And there are many external historical, biological, and stochastic factors that will influence how populations respond to global warming." Other authors on this study include Yvonne Chan from the 'Iolani School, Edward Myers and Michael Hickerson from the City University of New York, and Sara Ruane from Louisiana State University. This work was funded in part by National Science Foundation grant #s DEB 1257926, DOB 1343578, DEB 1253710, the 7th European Community Framework Programme, and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world's preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State's official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation's 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt's enduring legacy of conservation. The Museum's five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 33 million specimens and artifacts, as well as specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data, and one of the largest natural history libraries in the world. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Annual attendance has grown to approximately 5 million, and the Museum's exhibitions and Space Shows can be seen in venues on five continents. The Museum's website and collection of apps for mobile devices extend its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to millions more beyond its walls. Visit amnh.org for more information. Become a fan of the Museum on Facebook at facebook.com/naturalhistory, and follow us on Instagram at @AMNH, Tumblr at amnhnyc, or Twitter at twitter.com/AMNH.


News Article | December 6, 2016
Site: phys.org

A coluber constrictor, one of the vertebrates included in the study. Credit: © AMNH/F. Burbrink New research examines how vertebrate species in the eastern United States ranging from snakes to mammals to birds responded to climate change over the last 500,000 years. The study, recently published in the journal Ecology Letters, reveals that contrary to expectation, the massive glaciers that expanded and contracted across the region affected animal populations in different ways at different times. The analysis provides a window into how animals might react to any kind of climate change, whether glacial cycles or global warming. "A big glacier should have affected everybody. It doesn't matter if you're a snake or a bird, it probably makes it hard to live there," said Frank Burbrink, an associate curator in the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Herpetology and lead author of the study. "So did these communities all change together as if they were one unit? There's never been a study that has comprehensively analyzed whether vertebrate communities responded to the glacial cycles in a uniform way." The most recent, rapid, and significant effect of global climate change occurred about 2.5 million years ago in the Quaternary period, when ice sheets expanded and contracted, altering both the environment and available land. In the area known as the Eastern Nearctic—defined as the forested and coastal regions of the eastern United States—glaciers extended as far south in the east to New York City and in the Midwest to south central Illinois. Temperature changed rapidly, in some cases at the rate of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius (about 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) within several decades. To analyze the impact of this climate change, multidisciplinary researchers from the Museum, the 'Iolani School in Honolulu, the City University of New York's College of Staten Island, and Louisiana State University focused on the historical population sizes of tetrapods—snakes, lizards, mammals, birds, turtles, salamanders, and frogs—in the Eastern Nearctic over the last 500,000 years. They did this by looking at the animals' genomes and modeling the likelihood of their populations growing or shrinking. "When a glacier retreats, all of the organisms that were pushed south move back into that space and the signal of those changing populations gets imprinted in the genome," Burbrink said. "If you look at any individual species, you can see what its population has been doing over time based on how many changes they have in their genome. When populations expand, they have more genetic differences. And when populations are small, they have fewer." The longstanding scientific thought is that as a glacier recedes, local populations will expand "synchronously," or all at the same time. But the researchers did not find a uniform response to climate change within the tetrapod community. About 75 percent of the animals went through a population expansion, with only about 50 percent of those lineages expanding together. And 25 percent of the populations contracted. The results imply that there are additional layers of complexity involved in this problem. "In some ways, the old idea that the glacier receding would have a single effect on everything in the community is naïve," Burbrink said. And what do the results mean for the global warming the Earth is currently facing? "We need to move beyond viewing communities as single units," said co-author Brian T. Smith, an assistant curator in the Museum's Department of Ornithology. "Some species will respond in one way and others will respond in other ways. And there are many external historical, biological, and stochastic factors that will influence how populations respond to global warming." Explore further: Common US snake actually three different species More information: Frank T. Burbrink et al, Asynchronous demographic responses to Pleistocene climate change in Eastern Nearctic vertebrates, Ecology Letters (2016). DOI: 10.1111/ele.12695


Wilson A.G.,University of British Columbia | Chan Y.,Iolani School | Taylor S.S.,Louisiana State University | Arcese P.,University of British Columbia
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The Californian Channel Islands are near-shore islands with high levels of endemism, but extensive habitat loss has contributed to the decline or extinction of several endemic taxa. A key parameter for understanding patterns of endemism and demography in island populations is the magnitude of inter-island dispersal. This paper estimates the extent of migration and genetic differentiation in three extant and two extinct populations of Channel Island song sparrows (Melospiza melodia graminea). Inter-island differentiation was substantial (G''ST: 0.14-0.37), with San Miguel Island having the highest genetic divergence and lowest migration rates. Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Island populations were less diverged with higher migration rates. Genetic signals of past population declines were detected in all of the extant populations. The Channel Island populations were significantly diverged from mainland populations of M. m. heermanni (G"ST: 0.30-0.64). Ten mtDNA haplotypes were recovered across the extant and extinct Channel Island population samples. Two of the ten haplotypes were shared between the Northern and Southern Channel Islands, with one of these haplotypes being detected on the Californian mainland. Our results suggest that there is little contemporary migration between islands, consistent with early explanations of avian biogeography in the Channel Islands, and that song sparrow populations on the northern Channel Islands are demographically independent. © 2015 Wilson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


PubMed | Standley Lake High School, Iolani School, National Jewish Health, University of Colorado at Denver and Island Pacific Academy
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: FEMS microbiology letters | Year: 2016

The household is a potential source of opportunistic pathogens to humans, a particularly critical issue for immunodeficient individuals. An important human-microbe interface is the biofilm that develops on showerhead surfaces. Once microbe-laden biofilms become aerosolized, they can potentially be inhaled into the lungs. Understanding how quickly a new showerhead becomes colonized would provide useful information to minimize exposure to potentially pathogenic environmental microbes. High school scientists sampled the inner surfaces of pre-existing and newly fitted showerheads monthly over a nine-month period and applied standard microbiologic culture techniques to qualitatively assess microbial growth. Water chemistry was also monitored using commercial test strips. Sampling was performed in households on Oahu, Hawaii and Denver, Colorado, representing warm/humid and cold/arid environments, respectively. Pre-existing showerheads in Hawaii showed more diverse microbial growth and significantly greater microbial numbers than a comparable showerhead from Colorado. New, chrome-plated or plastic showerheads in Hawaii showed diverse and abundant growth one month after installment compared to new showerheads from Colorado. The pH, total chlorine and water hardness levels varied significantly between the Hawaii and Colorado samples. Enthusiastic student and teacher participation allowed us to answer long-standing questions regarding the temporal colonization of microbial biofilms on pre-existing and new showerhead surfaces.

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