By Sonia Isotov
On April 1-2, the Wailea Marriott will host over 200 STEM/Service Learning students, teachers, parents, community and business leaders from around the state.
The Hawaii STEM Conference brings together the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) communities in the state to build the STEM pipeline from education to employment. STEM is part of a workforce development initiative started over 10 years ago by the Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Women in Technology (WIT) program.
The Women in Technology Project is funded in part through grants from the U.S. Department’s of Labor, Agriculture and Education. It is the first workforce development project of its kind to encourage girls, women and underrepresented groups into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and careers.
The WIT STEM/Service Learning model has been recognized nationally as an innovative, relevant, and successful approach to education. In the STEM/Servicing Learing program, students routinely interact with hardware and software in animation, computer aided design, engineering design, visualization, database design, webpage design, programming, office automation, global positioning systems, and geographic information systems. The students, working in teams, tackle sophisticated service-oriented projects. In the process of solving these problems, students learn to become creative, intuitive, adaptable learners who can solve unpredictable, real-world problems.
A primary goal of this STEM conference is to challenge and encourage as much participation from students as possible. To this end, we are holding software competitions at the conference, allowing teams to display their creative and tech skills in CAD, Web design, Game Design, Poster Design, Music Design, and Video. See competition guidelines here. Competition winners will be announced on Day two at the Hawaii STEM Conference Awards Banquet.
For many, it is their first experience at a regional technology conference complete with breakout sessions, software competitions, a formal awards banquet, and exhibit presentations. It will be an excellent opportunity for students to get the latest software training, and compete against other teams in challenging, but fun software competitions.
Over the two days, software training sessions will be held in the following areas — 3D CAD, Photoshop, Web Design, Game Design, Videography, GIS/GPS, Leadership, Science/Adaptive Optics, and Green Technologies. For a complete list, see our Breakout Sessions.