Our Islands, Our Future

With the 2015 STEM Conference experience behind him, sophomore Brendan Geffe says he’s more determined to pursue a career in engineering. “I saw how I could take what I learn and apply it to everyday life,” the Maui High School sophomore said. He and classmates Marston Lau and Son Phan along with senior Tally Nakamura captured the On-Site CAD (Computer-Aided Design) Project award at this year’s conference held at the Wailea Marriott. “We were pretty excited about winning,” Geffe said.

Using CAD technology, the four designed a custom bike light for a children’s bicycle. The contest required certain specifications including that the device had to be water and heat resistant and have a minimum light intensity (or brightness). The young user would need to have the ability to adjust the direction and angle when installing the device on the bike. The light, as a 3-D model, had to be completed within just 24 hours of receiving the specifications. Geffe served as the team captain, using his and Marston’s knowledge and experience with CAD to come up with a battery operated, detachable bike light estimated to cost $20 each if it ever should be developed and created for the market. According to Geffe, Phan took the lead in researching electronics and Nakamura put together a PowerPoint presentation for the conference judges. “We all worked together and divided the work based on our strengths,” Geffe said.

In addition to winning the team On-Site CAD Project award, Geffe was selected as the individual winner for the CAD Showcase Application Competition. In this particular contest, Geffe created a rendering of an underwater current turbine model. It took him about two days to use CAD software to design a computer model and write up the specifications. “It was fun for me,” Geffe said.