Nolan Kamitiki, age 14, has been named the Top Young Scientist of the Year and is recipient of a $20,0000 scholarship.
The Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge is for student grades 5 through 8. The winners were announced Wednesday.
Kamitaki is now a freshman at Waiakea High School. To get to the national competition in Washington, D.C., he first had to win his school science fair, district science fair and then state science fair.
He entered with a project analyzing the affect arsenic in local soils has had on Big Island school children. He also competed against 40 finalists in a series of challenges at the National Institutes of Health.
“I tested for arsenic levels first in the soils of the Keaau and Hilo area, and I tested hair samples of students who attend nearby schools,” Kamitaki said. “After reading newspaper articles, I realized there is a big problem with arsenic in the Keaau area where a hotel is about to be built. I decided if it is a problem for tourists, it is definitely a problem for kids who go to the schools there.” Read more HERE.