STARS students are seen here outside of the HI-SEAS Mars-simulation habitat. They’re ready for a space expedition on the rugged terrain of Mauna Loa volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii.

***Deadline for Application: May 20, 2016***


TUE JUL 19: Space Workshop – Canada France Hawaii Telescope Headquarters, Waimea

WED JUL 20: Space Workshop & Tour – PISCES Headquarters and visit to PISCES’ High Bay, Hilo

THUR JUL 21: Space Workshop – Canada France Hawaii Telescope Headquarters, Waimea

FRI JUL 22: Sunset Tour at the Summit of Mauna Kea


What is the PISCES STARS program?

STARS stands for STEM Aerospace Research Scholars. It’s a summer educational experience designed to encourage more of Hawaii’s young women in high school to pursue a space career or other field in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Participants will get real world experience with aerospace technologies and facilities on the Big Island of Hawaii and learn directly from experts out on the field, including our space team.

What does the program offer?

STARS is a four-day STEM workshop that consists of hands-on activities with real-life space experts.

Who qualifies for STARS?

Applicants must be current female high school students with a 3.25 GPA or higher.  12 candidates will be selected on a first come first served basis. Applicants must beat least 16 years old.

How do you apply?

PISCES begins accepting applications on April 8th through May 20th.  Those interested can apply by downloading the application here: STARS Application. After downloading the application, please email the form to

When is the summer workshop?

The 2016 STARS workshop will be held July 19-22.

How much does it cost?

This program is FREE! If you would like to help support this program, you can make a donation to the University of Hawaii at Hilo-PISCES education fund HERE.

What is the purpose of STARS?

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “women are underrepresented both in STEM jobs and STEM undergraduate degrees and have been consistently over the last decade.”  The report finds that although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25% of STEM jobs. To help change that, PISCES launched the STARS program as a way of inspiring Hawaii’s young women to take an active interest in STEM studies, showing them that a space career is not a far-fetched science-fiction dream, but a fun reality that anyone can pursue.


STARS (STEM Aerospace Research Scholars) is a summer program designed to encourage Hawaii’s young women in high school to pursue a space career or other STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) related field via a four-day workshop on space exploration.

The inaugural STARS program kicked off July 2014, with a trio of bright student cadets who ventured through the cosmos with a VIP backstage tour of several Mauna Kea observatories, presentations and lessons from Hawaii’s real-life space experts, hands-on experience with the PISCES planetary rover, and an overview of Hawaii’s cultural relationship with the stars.

Students also conducted a lunar mission using the Google Lunar XPRIZE Lego MINDSTORMS robot from GLXP’s Moonbots-In-A-Box program – PISCES is one of only 40 U.S. Science Centers that has this exclusive robotic kit. The grand finale was an overnight weekend adventure on ‘Mars’ at the HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation) Habitat on Mauna Loa.

“Having these experiences, not only on this trip, but with doing the workshop with PISCES, it really helps you understand just how the science is done…and that’s something I’ve always loved,” said Christina Cauley, a participating student from Hilo High School.

Read more about the 2014 STARS experience, see pictures and view the students’ video blogs HERE.