2 Hawaii students receive Advanced Placement awards

Published On: Mar 01 2013 01:14:39 PM HST

Sonia Chang (left), Steven Okada


Sonia Chang, a senior at Punahou School in Honolulu, and Steven Okada, a senior at Maui High School in Kahului, were named Friday the Hawaii state winners of the 2012-13 Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, a signature program of the Siemens Foundation administered by the College Board.

The awards recognize the nation’s top achievers in Advanced Placement Program courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a $2,000 college scholarship to one male and one female student in each state.

Two national winners, one male and one female, are also recognized, each receiving a $5,000 scholarship.  This year, 101 high school students in all 50 states, including 93 seniors and 8 juniors, were honored.

“We commend this year’s Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement winners on their hard work and dedication to STEM subjects, and we thank the teachers, parents and schools who supported their scholarship,” said Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president of the Siemens Foundation.

“We are proud to join our partners at the Siemens Foundation in recognizing these exceptional students. Today’s award-winners have the foundation to achieve great success in some of today’s most exciting, innovative careers,” said David Coleman, president of the College Board.


Total AP Courses Taken to Date (all disciplines including STEM): 5

Favorite AP Class: Biology

Advice to other AP students: “Treat AP courses as opportunities to push yourself to your academic limits. There’s so much information that can be taken away from the courses, and if you focus on that rather than the final result, you'll find success.”

Proudest Accomplishments: Drumline section leader; AP Biology teacher’s assistant
Plans for College Study: Biological Sciences (genetics, biomedical); Social Sciences (anthropology)

Anticipated Career: Medical doctor and/or researcher

Favorite nonacademic pursuits: Marching band and drumline


Total AP Courses Taken to Date (all disciplines including STEM): 10

Favorite AP Class: Physics

Advice to other AP students: “Work hard, but not too hard. Taking time off to enjoy yourself is just as important as cramming for that next AP exam.”

Proudest Accomplishments: Sixth place at National Ocean Sciences Bowl 2011; FRC Oregon Regional Finalist 2011; Intel International Science & Engineering Finalist 2010
Plans for College Study: Physics, Computer Science, Business

Anticipated Career: “Something in which I can pursue my passions. Perhaps I will start up a business.”

Favorite nonacademic pursuits: Cooking; random adventures with friends


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