An image of our 2016 Summer STARS participants at the PISCES’ high bay.

Credit: PISCES

Friday was the last day for our four-day workshop where eight talented high school females learned all about science on the Big Island and elsewhere.

Ara Uhr from Hilo High School, Stephanie Lewis and Tanya Adams from Kohala High School, Lily Bailey from Kona, Emma Hon from Waiakea High School, Lily Leyva from Kea’au High School, Allison Dupre from Colony High School in Alaska, and Cappi Winters from Kea’au High School, all participated in the program this year.

On Monday the girls started the workshop with a geode rock activity. Each participant broke up their own geode and learned about the different types of rocks that form here on Earth. PISCES’ intern Kyla Defore, a geology major from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, led the discussion. She later presented her research on Martian gullies to the curious students.  Our Operations Manager Christian Andersen discussed our Vertical Take-Off/Vertical Landing pad project and answered questions about space science. Later that afternoon the students went to PISCES’ high bay and had a chance to drive our robotic rover Helelani with our program manager Rodrigo Romo.

The next two days the girls visited the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope headquarters in Waimea. On the first day, Executive Director Doug Simons provided an introduction to the students while outreach program manager Mary Beth Laycheck spoke to them about the science performed at CFH. Later that day the students participated in a cardboard chair challenge. They were separated into two groups and attempted to create a chair out of cardboard that would hold the weight of an adult for at least 15 seconds. The chairs were tested the next day after a series of lectures that included topics about engineering and astrobiology. Both of the groups successfully completed the challenge.

On Friday the students visited the summit of Mauna Kea for sunset tour and more. Stay tuned for more pictures and Mahalo to all of the girls who participated this year!