8th Annual Hawaii STEM Conference Empowers New Generation of STEM Innovators


HONOLULU – On May 1-2, more than 1,000 students, educators, industry partners and community leaders throughout the state and the nation gathered for the 8th Annual Hawaii STEM Conference – an empowering STEM event dedicated to engaging a new generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) innovators in Hawaii.


Presented by Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Women in Technology (WIT) project, the conference was held for the first time at the Hawaii Convention Center on Oahu. This year’s theme, “Download Knowledge. Upload Service,” invited students to demonstrate and showcase the skills and abilities they have gained to help create a thriving future, not only for Hawaii, but the world.

Students and teachers representing intermediate and high schools from every island across the state of Hawaii participated in this regional technology conference which featured 40+ student breakout sessions, 30+ teacher breakout sessions, 14 software competitions, a STEM playground, a formal awards banquet (“The STEMMYS), and exhibit presentations.

This year’s Hawaii STEM Conference competition winners were:

  • CAD Showcase Application Competition – Brandon Marcos, Mayumi Fulgencio (Kauai High School)

  • Digital Storytelling Competition – Brandon Marcos (Kauai High School)

  • Game Design Competition – Henry Lonborg (Roosevelt High School)

  • GIS – Storytelling with Maps Competition – Pag-asa Fulgencio (Kauai High School)

  • Music – instrumental Competition – Trey Metoyer (King Kekaulike High School)

  • Music – lyrical Competition    – Emma Rich (King Kekaulike High School)

  • Photography Competition    – Czhara Jan Saclayan (Maui High School)

  • T-Shirt Design Competition – Shanelle Ancheta (Maui High School)

  • STEM Career Interview Competition – Janine Harris (King Kekaulike High School)

  • On-Site Video Competition * – Caleb Soo Hoo, Chris Kau (Baldwin High School)

  • On-Site Royer Studios Competition – Micah Ban, George Villanueva, Taylor McCary, Taniya Whittman-Valdez, Kalia Kapisi (Maui High School)

  • ArcGIS Online U.S. School Competition (Hawaii finalists): Pag-asa Fulgencio (Kauai High School); Courtney Cadiz, Jett Bolusan, Braiden Paa (Maui High School); Amanda Schiff (Kealakehe High School); Kau’iwai Poepoe-Mollena, Kamahina Kaiama-Kanuha (Molokai High School HLIP)

  • Intermediate School PIA Competition – Czerena Bayle, Jadynne Zane, Cynthia Mercado Santana, Jaycie Iha (Maui Waena Intermediate School)

  • High School PIA Competition – Haven-Luper-Jasso, Brooke Kanna, Marlena Lang, Leanna Thesken (Kauai High School)

  • 3Cs Intermediate – Maria Inong, Alyson Kar, Logan Tsukiyama, Hannah Okamoto (Maui Waena Intermediate School)

  • 3Cs High School – Yasha Ronquillo, Carissa Pagan, Summer Montehermoso, Tiffany Banggo (Maui High School)

To view all the winning videos, visit http://www.hawaiistemconference.com.

During the conference, Hawaii State Governor David Ige announced the offering of a Digital Alliance program for high school students across the State of Hawaii in the summer of 2018.

A partnership between Microsoft, Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology Project (WIT) and the State of Hawaii; the Digital Alliance program will provide students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in computer science and/or in any STEM-related careers. The program is designed to promote critical and creative thinking; encourage collaboration with other students; and intersect with industry professionals in various Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.

“Microsoft has done so much in our community and they are committed to assuring that many of you will have access to a lot of the great technology that is really defining the future for all of us,” said Hawaii State Governor David Ige. “And so the Maui Economic Development Board, State of Hawaii and Microsoft have formed a Digital Alliance partnership because we do understand that software development and access to the latest and greatest software tools gives our young people opportunities to explore all of these technologies. In today’s world anything can be done anywhere and it really is about who is brave enough to take it on and solve our world’s challenges.”

While this year’s conference excelled in engaging students and educators on a myriad of hands-on STEM activities, competitions, and access to the latest technologies; it was the overarching mission of the state’s largest STEM conference that brought home the true impact of STEM education.

According to Leslie Wilkins, MEDB Vice President, “Virtually every field in every sector of the economy whether a small business or major industry is needing STEM professionals – people who are literate and fluent in various technology skills. But just teaching current technology applications does not serve our children well, because technology changes so rapidly. So we need to focus on empowering our youth to be self-directed learners, to be resilient, to stay current and be adaptive to change and not be scared by it. And, most importantly, to have the confidence that they can do it. Instilling these values are at the heart of MEDB’s STEMworks™ program and what this conference is all about.”

The 8th Annual Hawaii STEM Conference is sponsored by:

Office of Naval Research
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Labor
County of Maui
MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund
Strada Education Network
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Hawaii Energy
21st Century Community Learning Centers
Hawaii Geographic Information Coordinating Council (HIGICC)
Hawaiian Electric Company
Opterra Energy Services
Trimble SketchUp
Central Pacific Bank
Apple Inc.
Creative Industries Hawaii
Creative Lab Hawaii
National Security Agency
STEM Pre-Academy
King Kekaulike High School
Maui High School ACOM
Searider Productions
Ben Franklin Crafts/Ace Hardware by HouseMart
Blue Planet
Camp CenterStage
Drone Services Hawaii
Elemental Minds
3D Innovations
Hawaii HCM Creative Media Team
Hi FusionEd
Iolani School
The Janus Group
Momilani Elementary School
Maunakea Scholars
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Regional SATCOM Support Center-Pacific U.S. Army Space and Missle Defense Command
Patsy T. Mink Center for Business & Leadership
State of Hawaii Department of Labor
State of Hawaii Department of Education
University of Hawaii Manoa College of Engineering
University of Hawaii, Maui College
The Women in Technology Project is a statewide initiative of the Maui Economic Development Board. WIT is funded in part by the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture, Office of Naval Research, State of Hawaii, and the County of Maui.

For more information on the 2017 Hawaii STEM Conference, visit http://womenintech.com/HawaiiSTEMConference or contact WIT Program K-12 STEM Education Director Isla Young at isla(at)medb(dot)org or 808-250-2888.