STEMworks™ lab serves as key learning resource

King Kekaulike High School students credited a STEMworks™ lab as a key component in their third consecutive Program Impact Assessment award at the 2015 STEM Conference. “There are so many students in STEMworks™ lab across the state doing amazing work, so it is truly an honor to receive this award,” STEM teacher and Kekaulike STEMworks™ Facilitator Emily Haines-Swatek said.

Kekaulike picked up three wins at the 2015 STEM Conference: On-Site Hackathon, Web Design and the Program Impact Assessment Competition. The three students behind the PIA award were Maya Ooki, Alesha Menor and Jeremie Amano. The trio gave a presentation on their school’s STEMworks™ lab and how students use it to create and collaborate on community service projects. Amano and his teammates, Gabriel Rayburn and Wyatt Roan, were a part of the winning On-Site Hackathon team. Their project featured a proposed mobile phone app users would tap to send a picture and a geo-spatial coordinate to the Maui Invasive Species Committee. The team behind the Web Design award – Dylan Franco and Andrew Rezac – designed a Web site for Kekaulike’s Digital Media class, using videos, graphics, music and photography.

Amano and Ooki are 11th-graders who have attended the STEM Conference for three years in a row. “The STEM Conference is my favorite time of the school year,” Ooki said. She said she enjoys meeting STEM industry professionals and likes the chance to practice her public speaking skills. For Amano, the STEM Conference is a chance to get more insight into STEM careers. “I get to learn from these professionals about what they do in their career and what they have done that got them where they are,” he said. The annual STEM Conference is presented by Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology Project. WIT’s STEMworks™ program provides hands-on access to the most current, high-end technologies to produce community service learning projects. Students in STEMworks™ labs are afforded the opportunity to work with local industry partners and gain skills ranging from animation to computer-aided design to engineering design and GPS/GIS. STEMworks currently offers free summer Software Camp Series for students; for information visit http://www.womenintech.com/category/workshops/ or phone Lalaine Pasion at 875-2341.

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