2020 High School Winners
2020 Sustaining Water Systems
Raenelle Torres, Glenna Curioso, Riko Mizuta and Scarlet Ramelb
Hawaii Technology Academy Waipahu, Hawaii
Raenelle Torres, Glenna Curioso, Riko Mizuta and Scarlet Ramelb are students at the Hawaii Technology Academy in Waipahu, Hawaii. They found out about the contest when it was assigned in their World History class with submission left optional. The group is all from Honolulu, born and raised, they shared, “Most people think of Hawaii as a tropical island paradise and it is in a way, but it’s also more than that. In Hawaii we have a concept called ahupuaa, the interaction of people and culture in environmental management of the island.” It was only fitting that they pursue a topic that is important and close to them, water and plastic pollution, Raenelle shared, “if plastic pollution is not mitigated, the island life will be unsustainable. That concern is what inspired us to do a video.” The group decided to focus on how marine wildlife is being affected by plastic pollution and in turn how this impacts their community. They shared that they had previous exposure to global issues related to unsustainable population growth, highlighting that, “we were also taught that every individual has a direct impact on Earth’s wellbeing, but collectively we can have a better chance of correcting or reversing the impact.”
This was the group’s first attempt at creating a video on an environmental theme. Glenna, however, has entered in competitions before and even won an award from a tech competition for her winning design of a renewable resource mode of a windmill. The most challenging part of the process for them was getting all of the information they wanted to share down to 60 seconds. Given the strict time limit, the group focused on really maximizing the impact of their message rather than the length, and shared, “It is important to remember that sometimes less is more. It is about the quality of the message and thinking about the audience. When doing this project, it is important to remember why you are doing it and to have passion for what you are doing.”
Raenelle, Glenna, Riko, and Scarlet shared, “We are Hawaii-raised kids enjoying the tropical island lifestyle.” They attend a blended learning school, which gives them more free time to pursue extracurricular activities like dance and music. Raenelle taught herself to play ukulele and some select pieces on the keyboard. Glenna enjoys playing violin as well as exploring graphic design. The group is adjusting just fine to virtual schooling during the current global pandemic and they shared that, “We are no stranger to virtual classes because our school uses a blended learning style that combines both online educational lessons, independent learning, and traditional classroom interactives and activities.” Although the contest was presented as an assignment to Raenelle, Glenna, Riko and Scarlet it felt nothing like a chore because they focused on something that they’re very passionate about and had a lot of fun creating their video.