Nine female high school student from throughout the state, including five from Kalani High, were recognized as Hawaiʻi Regional Winners for their notable projects in computer science by the National Center for Women and Information Technology. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AspireIT) honors young women who are active in computing and technology.
The Hawaiʻi affiliate of NCWIT is supported by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Information and Computer Sciences. Department Chair and Professor David Chin spoke to the students about how computer sciences and engineering are really about creativity and how each of them can “create something real that comes out of your mind.”
Two of the five Kalani students won scholarships to attend UH Mānoa and take courses in the Department of Information and Computer Sciences. Madisyn Sim received the 2015–2016 scholarship, while Camelia Lai received the 2016–2017 academic year scholarship. In addition, Riley Kishaba, Yongqi Lin and Madisyn Sim, all from Kalani High, received the 2015 Hawaiʻi Affiliate Award Runner-Up recognition in the National AspireIT competition. Other students recognized for their oustanding work are Erina Baudat of Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy, Yu-Ann (Ashley) Chen of Hilo High, Sara Nakagaki of Kalani High and Aliya Petranik of Punahou School.
ICS Professor Kim Binsted presented her current work with the HI-SEAS project led by the UH and funded by NASA. The project isolates a group of people in a structure high atop Mauna Loa on Hawaiʻi Island to try and find solutions that will one day sustain travelers to deep space.
ICS Professor Susanne Still also spoke to the high school students about her work studying machine learning or machines that learn by getting feedback.