Aspiring Engineers, Doctors and Scientists Get Hands-on with their Future at Tech-Savvy 2017

The US faces a labor shortage of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM) professionals. The shortfall has been described, by the former presidential administration of Barack Obama, as a national security and competitiveness issue.

To make up for this shortfall, interest in STEM fields must be generated in today’s students, but women have been underrepresented in STEM. AAUW Honolulu addressed the shortage of women in STEM careers with TechSavvy, a day-long career conference for girls in the sixth to ninth grades and their parents. The conference was held Saturday, April 22, 2017, 8:30 am to 4 pm at Hawaii Pacific University’s Windward Hawaii Loa Campus. It was sponsored by HPU, Hawaiian Airlines, and Hawaiian Electric.

Monica Isava, mechanical engineer at Apple, and Dr. Brenda Jensen, dean of HPU’s college of natural and computational sciences, gave keynote addresses to the attendees. The day was divided into hands-on workshops where the attendees explored topics such as, “What lies beneath? Simulating Mapping of the Ocean Floor,” “Robotic Navigation of an Obstacle Course” and “Medical Laboratory Scientists, Solving Medical Mysteries”. The second half of the day focused on “savvy skills” or skills they can use in their everyday life.