Maui News

9th Hawai‘i STEM Conference Aims to Empower Next Generation

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Hawaiʻi’s largest showcase of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM education convenes on April 10 and 11 for the 9th annual Hawaiʻi STEM Conference at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center on Oʻahu. It’s aim: To empower, inspire and celebrate Hawaiʻi’s next generation of STEM leaders.

The conference is presented by STEMworks™, a statewide program spearheaded by Women in Technology, an initiative of Maui Economic Development Board’s.

Now in it’s ninth year, the conference is expected to attract over 1,000 students and teachers from K-12 schools statewide, along with prominent speakers, industry leaders, and event partners.

“We’re thrilled to once again offer this two-day event that celebrates students’ STEM achievements and opens their eyes to the many rewarding and challenging STEM careers,” said Isla Young, MEDB’s Director of STEM Education and Workforce Development. “It’s always exciting to see students and teachers exploring the latest technology tools and resources designed to inspire problem solving, critical thinking, innovation, collaboration and communication. Our hope is that Hawaiʻi’s youth will gain important STEM skills to help them successfully meet tomorrow’s challenges, ultimately empowering them to improve their community and our world.”


This year’s conference will feature:

– Over 55 hands-on student sessions will be offered by education teams and industry experts from Air Force Research Laboratory; Blue Planet Foundation; Camp CenterStage/Maui OnStage; Chaminade University; DevLeague; Education Incubator; Elemental Excelerator; Hawaiʻi Energy; Hawaiʻi Technology Academy; HawaiiKidsCAN; Honolulu Community College-PCATT; Innovative Educator Consulting & Wonder Workshop; Iolani School; Kapiʻolani Community College-STEM Program; King Kekaulike High School; Maui High School ACOM; Maui Science Center; Microsoft; Molokai High School, Hawaiian Immersion Language Program; Momilani Elementary School; Monsanto Hawaiʻi; Patsy T. Mink Leadership Alliance; Science Camps of America; STEMscopes; UH College of Engineering; and UH Institute for Astronomy.

– Over 30 teacher professional development sessions will be offered by education teams and industry experts from Blue Planet Foundation; Canada France Hawaiʻi Telescope; DevLeague LLC; Hanalani Schools; Hawaiʻi State Department of Education; Hawaiʻi Technology Academy; Innovative Educator Consulting & Wonder Workshop; Iolani School; Momilani Elementary School; NASA AMES Research Center; Purdue University; RoboNation/AUVSI Foundation; SketchUp; STEMscopes; Towson University/NSA; University of Hawaiʻi STEM Pre-Academy; and University of Hawaiʻi, Maui College.

– The STEMworks™ Spotlight showcasing the STEM service learning projects created by Hawaiʻi STEMworks™ students throughout the state.


– A timed, high-energy mixer – the 5 x 5 Sessions – will give students the opportunity to engage with 5 different STEM industry professionals in a “speed networking” format to learn about STEM career pathways, personal experiences and insights. Three Industry experts Steve Auerbach, Katie Taladay, and Meli James will also speak about STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

– 13 student-centered STEM competitions will put students skills and creativity to the test: ArcGIS Online US School Competition, Game Design, Music Competition, Piper Design Challenge, Photography Competition, T-Shirt Design Competition, and THINKit Pet Protection.

– 6 On-Site Competitions are fast paced and incredibly exciting: HACC4Edu hackathon, Quack-a-thon/Cybersecurity, Product Pitch, Royer Studios, Video Competition, and 3Cs Competition.

– A STEMworks Playground will offer students and teachers the opportunity to immerse themselves in over 55 mini STEM sessions.


Those who will be heading to the Hawaiʻi STEM Conference this month shared:

“During the conference I look forward to talking with people who have similar interests and to learn more about my fields I want to get into,” said Kimara A., an 8th grader from Lokelani Intermediate School. “Last year, I attended the conference for the first time. This year, I wanted to come again because the event was so fun and interesting and I got to experience things that I have never thought about doing before.”

“I’m so glad I’m back with STEMworks,” exclaimed Charleen Ego, STEMworks Digital Media Teacher at Farrington High School. “The technology, workshops and resources are the best in the state, if not the nation, and the experience of collaborating and meeting people at the Hawaiʻi STEM Conference cannot be beat!”

Trisha Roy of Baldwin High School shared, “I’ve attended the Hawaiʻi STEM Conference for seven years and each time I look forward to learning new things going on in the STEM industry, making connections with my STEM colleagues, and giving students the opportunity to be exposed to everything STEM. I think the conference is such a valuable experience because of the opportunities it gives students to make connections with the STEM industry – whether through learning new things, meeting industry professionals, or discovering a new passion.”

“I look forward to sharing our STEM program, Robotics and Coding, Robots and IPAD applications, such as OSMO, with other educators,” said Julia Davison, a 2nd grade teacher at Pukalani Elementary School. “This is my first Hawaiʻi STEM Conference so I am excited to learn about the newest programs, what other teachers are doing, and what I can bring home to share with my students.”

“As our youth become more proficient in STEM skills, their opportunities will be unimaginable,” said Young. “The jobs of the future are going to be created by businesses that don’t exist today and our youth will be the ones that will shape our destiny. It’s one of the many reasons why this Hawaiʻi STEM Conference is so important. This annual event helps to equip our youth with STEM skills and empowers them to reach further than they ever thought they can go.”

The 9th Annual Hawaiʻi STEM Conference is sponsored by: Creative Industries Hawaiʻi/DBEDT, Kaiser Permanente, Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation – Mike Lyons Maui Community Award, Microsoft, Verizon, Hawaiʻi Energy/Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaiian Electric Company, SketchUp, Hawaiʻi Geographic Information Coordinating Council, Hawaiʻi Association of Independent Schools, Public Schools of Hawaiʻi Foundation, Transform Hawaiʻi Government, USS Bowfin Submarine/Pacific Fleet Submarine Memorial Association, and Engie.

During the Hawaii STEM Conference, students and educators will be offered a myriad of hands-on STEM activities, competitions, and access to the latest technologies. PC: Maui Economic Development Board

Over 55 hands-on student sessions await this year’s attendees led by education teams and industry experts. PC: Maui Economic Development Board

Students and teachers can immerse themselves in over 55 mini STEM sessions during this year’s STEMworks™ Playground. PC: Maui Economic Development Board

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