Our Islands, Our Future

STEMworks™, the flagship program of Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), announced their 2019 Summer Internship Cohort during a STEMworks™ Orientation Kick-Off event. Over the course of six weeks, 33 qualifying STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) students will apply their knowledge in the workplace under the guidance of industry professionals. The company’s mentors will help the students build experience in their technological skills while developing deeper insights into STEM career pathways.

“Virtually every field in every sector of the economy is needing STEM professionals, people who are literate and fluent in various technology skills,” said Leslie Wilkins, MEDB President & CEO. “To meet this need, STEMworks™ empowers our youth to be self-directed learners, to be resilient, to stay current, be adaptive to change, and, most importantly, to have the confidence that they can succeed. We work with educators, industry partners and the community to build a thriving STEM education-to-workforce pipeline throughout Hawaii.”

Lalaine Pasion, STEMworks™ Project Manager noted, “STEMworks™ provides a work-based learning opportunity that helps build critical and creative thinking. Students are matched with a host company or organization based on the company’s needs and the interest and skills of the student. We train students in industry-standard software and engineering design practices using hands-on curriculum, regional conferences and workshops.”

At the Kick-Off, students had a unique opportunity to network with STEM professionals during the high-energy networking session called 5×5− a meeting with five different industry professionals every five minutes. Students questioned professional scientists, filmmakers, coders, engineers, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, software developers, and others.

“Meeting with industry experts helped me re-set my goals,” said Peyton Gillespie, Hui O Kuapā intern. “We were taught crucial skills regarding team building, leadership, resumes, public speaking, networking, and more. My favorite part of the day was participating in the mock-interview− with professionals asking questions and providing feedback. This helped me tremendously in preparing for a real-world experience in the near future”.

Pasion concluded, “It is important to engage our youth in what they need for their own professional development. We want our interns to feel inspired, with their horizons broadened and challenged to keep growing professionally.”

The STEMworks™ Summer Internships connect our students to our local workforce, and provide an additional level of interaction they simply can’t get in class.

Lalaine Pasion, STEMworks™ Project Manager