Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Hawaii: The Next 50

October 15th, 2015

Visual arts winner from last year's Next 50 contest by Bryson Manuel of Waipahu INtermediate School in the grades 6-8 visual arts category. Courtesy image.

Bryson Manuel of Waipahu Intermediate School was last year's winner in the grades 6-8 visual arts category.
Courtesy Hawaii: Next 50.

What will Hawaii's energy future look like in 50 years? Will we have reached our goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy by 2045? Are we on the right track?

Lawmakers are calling on students in grades 4 through 12 to share their ideas on how to make Hawaii a renewable energy leader in the second annual Hawaii: Next 50 Contest. Students are invited to create an essay, poster or video in response to the question: Over the next 50 years, what can I do to help Hawaii reach its 100 percent renewable energy goal?

The contest, inspired by former Gov. George Ariyoshi's book, "Hawaii: The Past Fifty Years, The Next Fifty Years," prompts the next generation to think about what social, cultural, and economic roads we can take to keep Hawaii moving forward into the next century. Students are asked to read Ariyoshi's book (free copies available upon request) and then respond to the question in either essay form or visual arts form.

The deadline for all entries is 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 31, 2016. Winners will be announced in March 2016.

Last year, students were asked: What needs to happen in the next 50 years for Hawaii to be the best place to work and live? They responded with artwork, like the one by Kaydee Rapozo below, depicting renewable energies. One student, Dallas Kuba from Manoa Elementary School, wrote an essay about homelessness.

Kaydee Rapozo was last year's winner for the Grades 9-11 category. Courtesy image.

Kaydee Rapozo was last year's winner for the Grades 9-11 category. Courtesy image.

There were more than 450 entries from keiki across the state, according to Rep. Mark Nakashima, who spearheaded the revival of the contest.

"We were amazed to see the innovative range of their ideas," he said. "This year we wanted to take that same enthusiasm and focus it on one of our state's most pressing issues: the necessity of renewable energy to end our dependency on oil."

Ariyoshi said: "It's imperative that young people know they don't have to wait to graduate or become an adult to join the conversation in shaping our state. The book was my vision of a progressive Hawaii and it's exciting to see what concepts the up-and-coming generation develops if we just ask."

Judging criteria include whether the entry clearly provides an answer to the question, creativity and articulation.

Winners will be honored during a floor presentation at the Hawaii State Capitol and be invited to attend a luncheon with legislators. They will also receive a monetary prize and be published online.

Teyshaun Rosales, last year's winner, grades 4-5 visual arts category. Courtesy image.

Teyshaun Rosales, last year's winner, grades 4-5 visual arts category. Courtesy image.


Looking for monk seal artists

March 14th, 2014

Can you paint, draw or sculpt a Hawaiian monk seal? Kermit, the monk seal, above. Star-Advertiser file photo.

Can you paint, draw or sculpt a Hawaiian monk seal? Kermit, the monk seal, pictured above. Star-Advertiser file photo.

Attention, student artists!

The Wyland Foundation is teaming up with the Monk Seal Foundation to host the first 'Conservation through Art' contest starting Monday, March 24.

All students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate and to display their artistic talent and ocean awareness to one of the world's leading environmental artists, Wyland.


The theme is "The Hawaiian Monk Seal, a living treasure."

Students are invited to create images of Hawaii's critically endangered monk seal through paint, drawing, collage or sculpture.

Art mediums can include chalk, charcoal, clay, crayon, marker, paint, pen, pencil or watercolor. All work must  be your original creation. Only one submission per student.

Students register and submit their original artwork online. Deadline is April 11.

One winner from each grade will be selected by a panel of artistic judges, including Wyland, Doug Perrine, Patrick Ching and Matt Sproat. An overall 'best of show' winner will also be selected. The 14 winners, which will each receive prizes and awards, will be announced in late May.

Winners' artwork will be featured in a 2015 calendar, with the 'Best of Show' on the front cover.

The goal of the contest is to engage and inspire students to learn more about the Hawaiian monk seal and its unique role in Hawaii's ecosystem.

The Hawaiian monk seal, endemic to Hawaii (meaning found only in Hawaii), has existed in the archipelago for 13 million years.

Their population, estimated at 1,100 today, is at a critical low.

Hawaiian monk seals face diverse threats, including entanglement in marine debris, food limitations, shark predators, infectious diseases, human disturbance and habitat loss.

This is a pivotal time to save the monk seals, a living treasure, from extinction. So get your canvas out, and create!

The Monk Seal Foundation's gallery can provide inspiration. Visit for more information.

National Plug In EV contest

September 23rd, 2013

Volta is holding a social media contest highlighting EVs in Hawaii for National Plug-In Day. Courtesy photo.

Volta is holding a social media contest highlighting EVs in Hawaii for National Plug-In Day. Courtesy photo.

Volta Industries is holding a social media contest to celebrate National Plug In Day Sept. 28 and 29.

To enter, snap and share a photo of Hawaii's EV scene, whether it's a Tesla cruising down H1 or a Nissan Leaf charing outside of Whole Foods Market at Kahala Mall. Post it on to Facebook ( with the hashtag #NationalPlugInDay. Participants will be entered in a drawing for dozens of prizes.

The  grand prize is a premium auto detailing worth $200 for your car (EV or not).

Arden Penton, director of operations for Volta, which operates the Volta Network (offering free-to-use EV charging stations) says there are 1,783 EVs in Hawaii – more per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. On Oahu, a total of 1, 371 electric cars were sold on Oahu as of August 2013.

"We're thrilled Hawaii is charging ahead on the course to clean energy, and hope this contest highilights how Hawaii has embraced EVs."

On the Big Island, the Big Island EV Association is hosting EV talkstory sessions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Hilo Home Depot (corner of Makaala and Roalroad Ave.) and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29 at Kona Commons near Sports Authority. Email to learn more.

Enphase offering solar PV to one non-profit

September 19th, 2013

Enphase in Hawaii is offering one Hawaii-based non-profit a $25,000 solar PV system as part of its "Mahalo Hawaii Giveaway" contest this month. You have until Sept. 30 to vote for the non-profit you believe is the most deserving of winning.

Non-profits and schools were nominated via video online until Sunday, Sep. 15. The winner will be determined by popular vote.

Many of Hawaii's solar companies are using Enphase microinverters, which claims to generate power in low-light conditions and reduce the impact of module mismatch or shade. Among the solar companies that use Enphase or AlternateEnergy, American Electric, Haleakala Solar, Hawaii Island Solar , KumuKit and Vivint Solar.

Among the top contenders, so far (as of Wednesday, Sept. 18), are a local family (with daughter Eva, who has a spinal disorder) with 6,417 votes, La‘a Kea Farm , an organic farm on Maui for adults with special needs with 6,089 votes and Central Union Church, with 1,757 votes.

Other worthy contenders include The Maui Farm (help individuals become self-sufficient),  Hawaii Food Bank, Honolulu Zoo Society (which uses Leon the talking Jackson chameleon as its ambassador)and Hawaiian Humane Society. In Puna, a group called Kalani believes solar PV will help it further its educational and recreational opportunities.

Vote for your favorite non-profit today (you can vote for more than one group, by the way). There are so many worthy organizations -  maybe some solar companies will be inspired to offer a PV system for those that don't win? It's such a no-brainer for any non-profit on the isles for energy savings (not to mention clean energy).

Landscape Sustainability Awards call for entries

July 25th, 2013

landscapeHere's another first for Hawaii — the first Landscape Sustainability Awards.

The Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii's 2013 Lanscape Sustainability Awards recognize advocates of sustainability and landscape projects that are in harmony with the natural environment and improve public health outcomes.

It's a recognition of sustainability as everyone's business and the need to share sustainable innovations and techniques within the industry.

And the LICH is also issuing a call for entries.

Here are the award categories:

>> Sustainability Award

>> Native Plant Design Award — Residential, Government, Commercial

>>  Native Plant Advocacy & Research

>> Sustainable Company Award

>> Plant Pono Invasive Species Advocacy Award

>> Water Conservation Award

>> Edible Landscape Award

>> Student Poster

Awards named after moon phases will be given at two levels – the La‘au Ku Kahi Award for Excellence (with one award in each category) and the Mohalu Honor Award (numerous awards may be given in each category). The submission deadline is Aug. 30, followed by notification of winners Sept. 22 and an awards ceremony at the LICH Conference Oct. 10.

Visit to learn more. Online entries will be accepted until Aug. 30.

Miss Earth Hawaii - Beauties for a cause?

July 24th, 2013

The very first Miss Earth Hawaii beauty pageant is headed this way. Miss Earth Hawaii and Miss Earth USA are both being held Sept. 1 at Ala Moana Hotel. The search is on for a "beautiful" ambassador for the environment. The pageant's motto is "Beauties for a Cause."

Now I'll be the first to admit beauty pageants have never really been my cup of tea. I often thought of them as superficial and silly.

The beauty industry and sustainability movement have often been at opposite ends of the spectrum — with cosmetics being tested on animals, blatant industrial waste and use of chemicals in products (to learn more, visit the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database).

There's been a lot of greenwashing in the industry, too, with companies labeling their products as "natural" which really doesn't mean anything.

I know, I know, I've heard the jokes — especially from those who grew up in the "hippie" era. Is Miss Earth going to wear Birkenstocks, patchouli oil and dress in hemp (actually, in future years, they may try to wear gowns from recycled materials) or go au naturel? And most environmental organizations have not really embraced the idea of a beauty pageant for sustainability.

But I do know that the scholarships for beauty pageants have always been a motivating factor and that many little girls still look up to beauty queens with admiration. I also have respect for the United Nations Environment Programme, which Miss Earth will become a spokeswoman for.

So if beauty and sustainability can come together for the betterment of the earth, why not?

Miss Earth Hawaii USA 2012 Siria Ysabel Bojorquez seems like the real deal. Having come from a humble background, her mother and grandmother emphasized a lifestyle of "never let anything go to waste," she said in an interview. She aspired to be an environmental lawyer, with an environmental platform on upcycling.

If these beauty pageant contestants can raise awareness about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, global warming, sea level rise (and speak articulately about them), plus encourage people to recycle, use less plastic, compost food waste, stop throwing cigarette butts on the beach or explain the importance of the eat local movement, then bring them here.

Let's make sure it's not all about glamorous appearances and empty talk, but real action, too.

Congratulations to our Wildlife Guide winner

July 16th, 2013

Honolulu Zoo Society educator Stephanie Arne is the new Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Wild Guide.

Honolulu Zoo Society educator Stephanie Arne is the new Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Wild Guide.

Congratulations to Honolulu Zoo Society educator Stephanie Arne on becoming the Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Wild Guide.

Arne won $10,000 and will host the all-new Wild Kingdom webisodes premiering this October on the Wild Kingdom TV YouTube channel.

At the Honolulu Zoo Society, Arne served as a wildlife educator and coordinated outreach programs for more than 7,000 children a year. A South Dakota native, Arne has conducted marine biology snorkeling tours in Australia as well as directed youth adventure camps in Japan. She's spent the past decade exploring the world to experience wildlife as well as to spread her conservation message.

She and fellow Zoo Society educator Charles Lee were among 12 finalists in the video contest back in May. Competition was pretty stiff as the finalists were whittled down to three. Besides Arne, the other finalists were Reggie Busse of Omaha, Neb. and Thiago Silva of El Paso, Texas. All three traveled to Omaha to participate in interviews with show producers, an on-camera screen test and other activities before the final selection was made.

"The Wild Kingdom Wild Guide process has been mind blowing," said Arne in a press release statement. "I've realized that so many of my life experiences have prepared me for the role of Wild Guide. I'm so grateful to everyone who helped me get to this point. I was made to teach people about wildlife and show how they can help protect the planet that we share. I'm ready!"

The webisodes will be a mini-episode version of the classic Wild Kingdom program, redefined for today's generation of viewers and broadcast online. A "My Wild Kingdom" app is also available. As a Wildlife Guide, Arne will interact with viewers through social media (@stephaniearne on Twitter) and personal appearances.

To be a Wild Guide

May 15th, 2013

Let's hear it for Honolulu Zoo Society educators Stephanie Arne and Charles Lee, who are both finalists in a video contest to become the next "Wild Guide" for Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. The winner gets $10,000 and  hosts the award-winning wildlife TV show's new webisode series, premiering this fall on YouTube.

Lee and Arne are among 12 semi-finalists whittled down from 200 entrants. The public can vote for the top three finalists until May 23 at

In his video, Lee  — animal lover, adventurer and educator — says "My lifelong goal is to help wildlife and help people around the world appreciate them and their natural habitats."

Action speaks louder than words, according to Lee. He leaps along Oahu's rocky shoreline, tags an iguana, catches a mongoose, rescues a sea turtle with a hook in its mouth and teaches the public about how Hawaiian monk seals need to be given space to sunbathe on the shoreline.

Arne is also full of action. She kayaks, jumps into the ocean from a boat, climbs along the shoreline and introduces us to ring-tailed lemurs and how they groom one another. She takes us to the Oahu rainforest to look for Jackson chameleons — she's a great educator, showing us how their eyes can move independently and how they communicate through color.

Looks like they have some stiff competition from around the nation. Good luck to both of them!

Young tree poets

April 25th, 2013


Makayla Rose Golden, 6, of Mauka Lani Elementary School, penned a winning poem about a mountain apple tree. Courtesy photo..

Congratulations to the newly minted tree poets who participated in the Wordsworth the Poet "Poe-TREE Contest."

The contest, sponsored by Watermark Publishing and author Frances H. Kakugawa, was open to writers from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Two winners were selected from each grade division (K-5, 6-8, and 9-12). You can read their poems at

Poems were judged for creativity, poetic merit and how well they conveyed what makes the trees special to the students. In Kakugawa's book  "Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer!" ($10.95) young mice campaign to save the trees in their community by writing poems that remind neighbors about the special qualities of the trees around them.

The six contest winners — Makayla Rose Molden, Eli Wolfe, Cindy Tsou, Emerson Goo, Sophie Corless and Zoe Edelman Brier — received copies of Wordsworth series books, a gardening tool kit and Koa Legacy Tree from the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative, donated by Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods.

Here's a sample of the winning poetry.

Eli Wolfe, 5, from University Laboratory School, is oen of the winners of the Wordsworth Poe-Tree contest. He wrote "Banyan Tree."

Eli Wolfe, 5, from University Laboratory School, loves to climb banyan trees and write poetry.

K-5 Winners

Eli Wolfe, 5, University Laboratory School

I like to climb the

Banyan tree

at Barwick.

I can climb to

the sky.

You should try it too


It is so fun.

Makayla Rose Molden, 6, Mauka Lani Elementary

The Mountain Apple tree is yummy to me.

The fruit is up so high to knock it down is a game I try.

I collect the fruit and make apple pie.

America Recycles Day is Nov. 15

November 12th, 2012

Many plastic containers, No. 1 and No. 2, can be recycled in Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Recycle Hawa‘i.

A visual example of the many everyday plastic containers, No. 1 and No. 2, that can be recycled in Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Recycle Hawa‘i.

This coming Thursday, Nov. 15, is America Recycles Day — a nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to embrace more of the everyday actions that lead to a sustainable lifestyle.

So it's a day to be conscious of what can be recycled instead of tossed into the trash can. I see a lot of items — SOLO beverage cups for instance (Which are No. 1), cardboard pizza boxes, and laundry detergent and shampoo bottles that end up in the trash when they could go in the blue bin for recycling.

Here are 15 tips for recycling more.

Recycle Hawai‘i on Hawaii island is working in partnership with Keep the Hawaiian Islands Beautiful and all its affiliates to host events throughout the islands. The following is a brief list of those events:

Thursday, Nov. 15

>> America Recycles Day ConcertRecycle Hawai‘i sponsors the America Recycles Day Concert for invited schools from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Palace Theater in Hilo.

>> Zero Waste Cafeteria Day. Today, schools in Hawaii learn about the waste that can be diverted from the landfill and how to eat healthy. Visit to find out more.

>> Recycle-Bowl Competition. Schools may participate in this national competition, in which schools receive recognition for their recycling efforts. State champions receive $1,000 as a prize. The national winner receives $2,500.

>> Take a tour. See first-hand how several green businesses on Oahu take the responsibility of recycling seriously through the city and county of Honolulu's "Tour de Trash" from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Start and finish at the Kahala Hotel & Resort. You'll also visit Whole Foods Market, Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant and the Hard Rock Cafe in Waikiki. Call 768-3200 to register or visit for more information.

Visit for tips on recycling and more information about events.