Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers Through Summer Academy Experience

On July 20, 83 high school students successfully completed a 6-week course at Honolulu and Hawaiʻi Community Colleges. The Summer Engineering Academy is designed to engage high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Students learned the basics of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer programming, including electronics, prototyping and writing code. In addition, they were introduced to college study skills, learned about the college admissions and financial aid process, and gained advanced math and science skills.

Throughout the summer experience, students met with project engineers during a field trip to the HART Waipahu Transit Center, and heard from organizations such as the Oceanit and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Engineering and School of Architecture.

High school students visiting the Honolulu Authority Rapid Transportation Waipahu Transit Center.

“The summer engineering program was designed to help the students choose a career path in an engineering discipline they enjoy. With practical hands on experiences students get a first-hand taste of the type of work involved in various engineering careers,” shares Norman Takeya, assistant professor and coordinator of the Summer Engineering Academy.

New funding and program expansion

This is the fifth year Honolulu CC has offered this program that was initially funded by Hawaiʻi P–20. This year funding came from Representative Mark Nakashima’s Work Force Development Advisory Committee on STEM in partnership with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR). Additional funding came from the Fujio Matsuda Technology fund. This year’s funding allowed the program to be expanded to the Hawaiʻi Island where Hawaiʻi CC duplicated the program.

“We are so pleased to partner with Honolulu Community College in giving high school students a hands-on practical way to gain engineering and computer programming skills,” says DLIR Director, Linda Chu Takayama. “The problem-solving approach used in this project can be applied to any job because it fosters hard work, initiative, and teamwork, which are valued by all employers. This project also helps students define their educational and career goals, which make a smoother transition from school to work.”

Honolulu CC is committed to providing opportunities for students to learn more about STEM career fields. To learn more visit the Honolulu CC STEM website.

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