Our Islands, Our Future

Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) STEMworks™ Solutions program brings month-long industry-based challenges to 7th-12th grade STEMworks students. The participants use STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) tools and the entrepreneurial mindset to develop innovative solutions for real problems. During the February 2021 challenge, Hawaii students learned about NASA’s Artemis Program to return us to the Moon, and cubesats from experts at the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL). The second challenge was to create an Artemis mission patch design. “We are so proud of all of the submissions we received,” said Katie Taladay, STEMworks Program Manager. “The selection for the best mission patch design award went to Jadynne Zane, MJ Dinong, Jenna Payba, and Erinrose Salacup of Maui High School. The team featured a simple design that incorporated the moon as the bow and the line in the A of Artemis as the arrow. We will print this design on a patch for all participants who completed the challenge.”

The HSFL payload design winner was “Exploring the Potential of Solar Winds as a Power Source” by Jalen Matsuda Williams, Derek Takeno, and Justin Paul Alejo, also from Maui High. In addition to a $500 prize, this team will have a chance to work with a real Artemis CubeSat kit to bring their idea to life under the guidance of HSFL scientists during the MEDB STEMworks Summer Internship.

“Our team used the cubesat to determine the viability of a new power source on a lunar base, using solar winds,” said Williams. “This will help NASA’s Artemis mission to determine and investigate the viability of a Dyson-Harrop Satellite (DHS) as a power source. The DHS has a wire at the end of the satellite which points at the sun and creates a cylindrical magnetic field. The charged wire can divert electrons from the initially charged plasma, which then get funneled into a metal sphere receiver, and creates an electric current. With this is mind, our satellite will give the mission valuable information, possibly enabling astronauts to have an abundance of energy that can be used to power a lunar base outpost, space vehicles, and more.”

We appreciate the opportunity from MEDB to share our research with the STEMworks students. Inspiring the next generation and building Hawaii’s aerospace workforce is so important for diversifying Hawaii’s economy.

Amber Imai-Hong, HSFL Avionics Engineer and Outreach Specialist