High school students get hands-on at summer engineering academy

Honolulu Community College holds four-week experience in partnership with Hawaii P-20

Honolulu Community College
Billie K T Lueder, (808) 845-9187
Communications & External Affairs, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Jul 9, 2012

Students posing with their spaghetti bridges.
Students posing with their spaghetti bridges.
A student getting his sumo bot ready for competition.
A student getting his sumo bot ready for competition.
On Thursday, June 28, 2012, 30 aspiring engineers competed in individual and team games as a part of the first-ever Engineering Academy at Honolulu Community College. The visual events included a water balloon launch, spaghetti bridge building, a surveying obstacle course, and a mouse and sumo robot competition.
"We are excited to provide high school students with this unique summer learning opportunity at Honolulu Community College," says Karen Lee, executive director of Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education. "We are supportive of STEM initiatives that help students explore their science and math interests while exposing them to life on a college campus. Both of these components are essential to their knowledge of what it means to be college- and career-ready."
Students ranged from sophomores to seniors, representing schools such as Campbell, Kapolei, Mililani, Punahou, ʻIolani, and Mid-Pacific Institute, to name a few. Only three out of the 30 students had any prior experience in robotics.
The program was designed to teach applied engineering skills that includes mechatronics; a multidisciplinary field of engineering that integrates various areas to optimize a product’s functionality.
During the four-week program, students visited the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Engineering and the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard Engineering department. Through these experiences, many of the participants have been able to pinpoint an area of concentration they wish to pursue in the engineering field.
In addition, the program offered a section on college readiness, giving students tips and guidance as they prepare for successful entry into college.
“One student is now motivated to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which two weeks ago he wasn’t even interested in taking. He plans to change his math courses for the next school year so that he will be prepared to apply for the College of Engineering at UH Mānoa. That was a primary goal of the program, to give these students the opportunity for career exploration,” shares Norman Takeya, Honolulu CC assistant professor and Engineering Academy coordinator.
The Engineering Academy was funded by the College Access Challenge Grant, which is managed by Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education and Perkins funding for Career and Technical Education programs.
Honolulu Community College has been serving the community as a comprehensive community college in the heart of Honolulu meeting the post-secondary educational needs of individuals, businesses, and the community for more than 90 years. A member of the American Association of Community Colleges and the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, Honolulu Community College has been continuously and fully accredited since 1970 by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For more information, visit http://www.honolulu.hawaii.edu.
Hawai‘i P-20 Partnerships for Education, a statewide partnership led by the Early Learning Council, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i System, works to strengthen the education pipeline from early childhood through higher education so that all students achieve college and career success. Hawai‘i P-20’s partners share a sense of urgency about the need to improve Hawai‘i’s educational outcomes in an increasingly global economy, and have established a goal of 55% of Hawai‘i’s working age adults having a 2- or 4-year college degree by 2025. For more information, visit http://www.p20hawaii.org.