Above: Twenty students from eight schools participated in a hands-on STEM class organized by The Success Factory featuring PISCES’ geology technician, Kyla Edison (pictured at center, wearing a lei). Credit: Gail Takaki/The Success Factory, creators of NexTech STEM programs.

Credit: Gail Takaki/The Success Factory, creators of NexTech STEM programs.

Credit: Gail Takaki/The Success Factory, creators of NexTech STEM programs.

PISCES teamed up with The Success Factory last month to engage local youth with a hands-on educational workshop focused on STEM problem solving.
Kyla Edison, Geology and Materials Science Technician at PISCES, led a three-hour class introducing PISCES’ research projects and educating students about Earth-based geology. The students put their thinking caps on during a “Mars match” activity, comparing geological features between Earth and Mars to discover differences and similarities between the two.

Twenty students—grades sixth through twelve—attended the workshop at Engineering Partners LLC, in Hilo. One student, Kyra Bockrath of St. Joseph High School, was a 2019 PISCES STARS (STEM Aerospace Research Scholars) program alumnus.

The event was organized by Gail Takaki, president of The Success Factory. The Factory is an economic development initiative focused on STEM education for underserved youth on Hawaiʻi Island. It organizes project-based learning events including multi-day NexTech camps engaging students in STEM industry exploration. These include hands-on activities with drones, CAD, 3D printing, problem solving, career exploration and essential career skills.