Our Islands, Our Future

A STEMworks™ internship turned out to be a launching pad for Andres “AJ” Ramelb and his pursuit of a career in computers. Putting it in the words of the King Kekaulike High School senior, Ramelb said: “When I had all this technology through my STEMworks™ program at my disposal, it really boosted my interest.” Ramelb sought and earned a STEMworks™ internship at Ardent through the Women in Technology Project, a statewide workforce initiative at Maui Economic Development Board.

The STEMworks™ program provides students with access to high tech tools, software training, project design, career exposure, and internship opportunities to learn from mentors and gain real-world job experience, knowledge and skills they’ll need when they join the 21st century workforce. Following his internship and his experiences with his school’s robotics team, STEMworks™ and a course in design technology, Ramelb said he acquired a “good feel” for the work behind computer programming, software analysis and Web site design. He said the summer STEMworks™ internship led to his decision to devise a senior project that featured converting a broken arcade machine into a MAME cabinet. MAME stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. Ramelb used the old shell of the broken arcade game to house a new one. “I wired and programmed the control panel for the cabinet and found an open source platform to run three games – Pac-Man, Galaga and Street Fighter III,” he said.

Ramelb said he’s always liked math and computers, but it wasn’t until the STEMworks™ internship that he realized a career in computers was possible. His plans after high school graduation are to seek a liberal arts degree from the University of Hawaii Maui College and then pursue more studies in either engineering or computer technology. “I can see myself with a future in computers and technology,” he said. In order to be eligible for a STEMworks™ internship, applicants must be STEMworks™ program participants. Slots are available on every island throughout the state. For more information, call MEDB at 875-2300, or visit: