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student group on location at Hawaii Electric plant

While most kids were at the beach this summer, 19 gifted Hawaiʻi high school students participated in a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering Summer High School Internship Program where they received hands-on learning and mentorship from engineering professionals and academics. The interns developed a comprehensive understanding of the various professional environments found in engineering by participating in exclusive industry site visits to active offices, stations, hangars and refineries otherwise restricted to the general public. They also attended workshops, chatted with executives and practiced what they learned.

The interns put these experiences to work in the College of Engineering labs where each student was assigned a faculty mentor and received assignments to work alongside graduate students on research tasks specific to their chosen engineering specialty.

The summer internship program and Engineering Student Ambassador Program is sponsored by Hawaiian Electric Companies through a $15,000 grant to the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation. “Such programs are critical to promoting STEM education, providing valuable hands-on learning experiences and reaching students in local communities,” said Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric vice president of system operation, who also serves on the UH Mānoa College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council.

“These programs are in line with our company’s commitment to educational excellence and career success for Hawaiʻi’ students, who will become our future leaders and technology innovators. As part of the program, the summer interns visited Hawaiian Electric’s Campbell Industrial Park Generating Station in West Oʻahu for a tour of the company’s 110 megawatt generator fueled exclusively with sustainable biodiesel. The facility includes a solar parking shade, solar rooftop, energy storage battery and PV test platform.

Other industry site visits included SunEdison, Chevron Refinery and SSFM International.

Talk story with engineers sessions were held with Sheryl Nojima (Gray, Hong, Nojima and Associates), Jon Young (Hawaiʻi Asphalt Paving Industry), Emi Kiyoi (Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard), Kyle Yumumoto (R.M. Towill Corporation) and Ty Dempsey (Dempsey Pacific).

Closing presentation

The College of Engineering Summer High School Internship Program is holding a closing presentation and reception on Friday, July 31, 4:30 p.m. in UH Mānoa’s Bilger Hall 152.

The student interns will deliver oral presentations stemming from their summer experiences and will cover topics critical to Hawaiʻi’s future, ranging from professional development to math and programming.

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