Participants of the 2016 Summer High School Internship Program

Students from 17 Hawaiʻi high schools got a hands-on engineering experience at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering Summer High School Internship Program.

The six-week summer high school internship program provides participants with the opportunity to assist in ongoing engineering research and projects. The students gain a higher level of academics and a chance to develop college and career planning skills through a variety of workshops. Each intern was assigned a faculty mentor and worked alongside graduate and undergraduate students in various engineering specialties at the state-of-the-art facilities at UH Mānoa.

“This program gave me insight into the real world of engineering that I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere else as a high schooler,” said University Lab School’s Gianne Constantine.

In addition, the interns participated in industry site visits and talk story sessions with engineers.

“This summer internship was a fun, challenging and eye-opening experience that is absolutely great for young, aspiring engineers,” said Brendan Otani of Kamehameha Schools Maui.

Presenting their acheivements

At the closing reception on July 29, the interns presented their work, celebrated their achievements and thanked the faculty, student mentors and industry partners who contributed to the program. The internship program was coordinated by STEM Marketing and Public Affairs Officer Myhraliza Aala.

“Our internship program has evolved from simply being a mechanism to raise interest in engineering, having been in existence for the last 18-19 years, to one of our major recruitment tools to keep our local students here on the island,” said Aala. “Our industry partners are a key component in providing our interns an engineering perspective that they would not otherwise have, had they not participated in this program. I am very proud of the interns who go through what I call ‘boot camp’ for college because I work them and raise the expectations so that they leave a different person.”

“Although it seems like a lot of work and time, I’d say that this internship is entirely worth it,” said Eliesse Hihara of Hawaiʻi Baptist Academy. “Not only was I able to have an experience I would not have anywhere else, but I was able to have a lot of fun and meet lots of new friends.”

Program sponsors and participants

Major sponsors of the program were Hawaiʻi P-20/GEAR UP and Hawaiian Electric Companies. The interns also visited Hawaiian Electric Company’s Ward facilitiy as well as going on hosted site visits to BAE Systems, Goodfellow Bros., InSynergy Engineering and SSFM International.

UH News video from the 2012 summer program

Hands-on engineering for high school students, July 25, 2012