Our Islands, Our Future

Maui Economic Development Board’s STEMworks™ Hawaii program presented the first-ever 2020 Virtual STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) Conference. The agenda focused on developing 21st-century skills for future careers. Teachers and over 200 students exercised leadership, communication, and collaboration by engaging in hands-on STEM activities that involved problem-solving, scientific concepts and geospatial technologies.

“The 2020 Hawaii STEM Conference successfully moved to a virtual platform this year,” said Katie Taladay, STEMworks™ Program Manager. “We kicked off the three-day event with five industry presenters, and a Microsoft keynote message of inspiration for our students. In addition to the main event, 27 students participated in the STEMworks™ first virtual design challenge hackathon hosted on BizzyB.  In this fast-paced challenge, students learned about Malama Maunalua’s mission to help improve water quality in their ahupua’a by growing oysters to filter local waterways. Each of the five teams impressed the four judges with their innovative designs for sustainably constructed oyster cages. We are thankful for all our participants, sponsors and speakers.”

Additionally, students competed in the 2020 STEMMY Award challenges designed to put their skills and creativity to the test. Jacob Gamble from Kalama Intermediate School won the Game Design Competition. Jazmyne Viloria from Maui High School won the Photography Competition. Winners from Maui Waena Intermediate School included Jacelyn Yun for the What’s Your Jam? Competition; Zoe Zane, Kamri Cruz and Sienna Jolie Racoma for the Leave Your Mark-et Design Competition; and Sienna Jolie Racoma and Kamri Cruz for the T-Shirt Design Competition.

“Our T-Shirt design is of a side profile, with an outline of the words ‘STEM is the Face of the Future’,” Cruz and Racoma explained. “It also includes circles with images of the different aspects of STEM. All of the individual symbols come together to make the whole person, which is portrayed as the side profile of the face.”

Jennifer Suzuki, Maui Waena STEMworks™ AFTERschool Coordinator added, “I am proud of my students for staying focused and continuing to work despite school closures. We appreciate STEMworks™ for giving our students the opportunity to stay engaged and productive in these challenging times.”

Our t-shirt design represents how future generations will be influenced by STEM.

Sienna Jolie Racoma and Kamri Cruz, 2020 STEMMY Award T-Shirt Design Winners, Maui Waena Intermediate School