Moanalua High team recognized for innovative design in national competition

Award-winning design earns Moanalua High School high marks in a national architecture competition

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A computer model and a pair of story boards show what the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium would look like ― if it was transformed into a health clinic.

The creative idea came from the minds of Moanalua High School STEM students.

Using his laptop and a design program, Jason Tsang created the base structure of a redesigned natatorium.

“There was another set of bleachers on both sides but we took apart the left one if if you’re facing the parking lot, and we added an open air cafe,” he said.

A team of eight students submitted their design to a prestigious national competition put on by the ACE Mentor Program of America.

"I was very proud of what we did and accomplished," said Cailee Sasano.

Her job was to research the history of the historic landmark built in 1927 so their design could tell a story.

"We put four artifacts on each corner, and we put pictures of Duke Kahanamoku and WWI pictures to keep it historic." she said.

Moanalua finished first in one ACE contest then third in another in Washington, D.C., going up against schools from all over the United States.

Moanalua is the only Hawaii school that participates in the annual ACE Mentor Program that inspires high school students to pursue careers in design and construction.

During the designing of their project, the students were mentored by industry professionals.

“We had architects, structural engineers, we had project managers, and all kinds of people from the construction industry,” STEM teacher Joanna Kobayashi said.

Moanalua's design stood out partly because of the local flavor the team built into its project.

"We decided to have Hawaiian aspects incorporated within our health clinic," Tsand said.

Besides the trip to D.C., the team came home with a trophy and a $2,000 prize to help Moanalua compete again next year.

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