HONOLULU (KHNL) - Twenty years ago, Hawaii students were tops in the nation in the field of technology. Thursday, they've dropped to 19th. But a new program, called STEM, is working to bring local students back to prominence.
Stem is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. Recent high school grads take a three-week course concentrating on these topics, while having a good time.
The flag drops on the H2 Grand Prix. These little hydrogen-powered radio controlled cars weave their way through the mini-course. Some better than others.
"I didn't know how to drive it, to maneuver it with the remote control, so we didn't do too well," said Lahele Bailey, a Farrington High grad.
"It's pretty fun, I liked it," said Matt Anguay, a Kaimuki grad.
The students have fun, while learning. It's all part of Kapiolani Community College's STEM summer bridge program. It teaches these incoming college freshmen about science, and freshen up their math skills.
"What I found as an engineering faculty, is they're bright kids," said Professor John Rand, the program's director. "They just haven't re-visted them in a while, so this program is really about them revisiting their skills, and we have a lot of fun while we're doing it."
It also gives these young people a taste of the field of engineering. And hopefully some will like it.
"It's easier to understand all that through this program, so I might actually go into this," said Anguay.
"It makes me appreciate the people, but I don't think I could do something like this daily," said Bailey. "I would get so frustrated."
Honest answer. And knowing what you like, and what you don't, may be the best thing when your maneuvering through that maze known as college.