Lahainaluna High School student interns at Goodfellow Brothers Inc.
LAHAINA – The STEMworks Summer Internship, created by Maui Economic Development Board’s (MEDB) Women in Technology Project, provides work-based learning opportunities for high school and college students that help build critical and creative thinking.
STEMworks students are matched with a host company based on the company’s project needs and the interest and skills of the student. MEDB offers these opportunities for STEMworks students statewide.
The program prepares students for a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) career by providing real-world job opportunities.
For six weeks this summer, 31 interns used industry-standard technologies to develop community projects. MEDB augmented their professional experiences with weekly college awareness and employability training webinars.
“STEMworks students have a unique opportunity to explore technical and professional development and embrace new life skills to create change in their local communities,” said Lalaine Pasion, Women in Technology Project (WIT) project assistant.
“They bring a variety of STEM techniques to their host company. This experience will stay with them for a lifetime.”
Kevin Clarke, engineering services specialist at Goodfellow Brothers Inc. (GBI) and STEMworks mentor, said, “This program is of great importance to the STEM professionals of tomorrow. When I was in high school, no one showed me how the complicated concepts in physics and mathematics could have a meaningful effect on my career path and daily life. It is for these reasons that I feel obligated to help the young people of today grasp the importance of their current studies and how it will relate to the ‘real world.’ It is also important for students to decide on a fulfilling career path that makes our local and global community a better place for all.”
Clarke continued, “Over the past six weeks, I’ve had the privilege to act as a STEM mentor to two high school students: Seth Richards from Lahainaluna High School and Cameron Loewen from Baldwin High School. My intention was to provide them with tasks that were just beyond their skill level; and, once they completed the task, I raised the complexity of the next goal. However, this year the interns challenged me!
“Richards and Loewen worked together, utilized the learning materials I provided along with numerous online resources to solve and better understand the problems I placed before them. They excelled so fast, by the end of the internship, I had run out of planned tasks for them, so I ended up handing them tasks that were on my desk. I was pleasantly surprised at the caliber of work they were able to turn in. Seeing young people like them getting excited about STEM brings me great joy. Additionally, I’m extremely grateful to MEDB and WIT for their investment in Hawaii’s future generation.”
Richards highlighted his experiences with GBI, his host company.
“Using Autodesk software such as AutoCAD and Civil 3D to model engineering design, I and another MEDB intern, Cameron Loewen, aided GBI in developing infrastructure here in Maui County. Land surveying is a vital part of the construction process. Before construction can begin, the land must be accurately measured and matched to the designs of engineers. During our internship, we learned how to read blueprints and design plans and essentially helped GBI in the various steps that lead up to land development.”
Richards received access to the online GBI file system to help understand what the company does and where, along with specific projects he would be focusing on in more depth throughout the internship.
He organized jobs using GBI’s Tax Map Key (TMK) that identifies the ownership and address of each plot of land for tax purposes and helped sort data into a separate database.
He organized jobs by their TMK, finished up the software downloads and learned some tutorials for AutoCAD and Civil 3D, a civil engineering design program. He also came across Trimble Business Center, another popular software program at GBI.
“After getting a full in-depth review, our mentor had us take a deeper dive into AutoCAD,” said Richards. “We were given the assignment of creating a pipe network (a system of pipes and associated structures) and blasting pattern for the site for the new Kihei High School”.
Richards explained, “GPS applications are also a Trimble Business Center product. It has some handy features that work well. For instance, data taken from the field can be updated and automatically put into a program. The uploaded data is used by construction people onsite. A GPS device shows where to place stakes to identify walls, pipes and borders to be used as reference points during construction.”
Richards also learned about GBI’s drone program.
“Mr. Clarke is currently the only GBI employee certified to fly a drone and the sole operator of the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Obsidian,” he said.
“Trimble Business Center is also a fantastic program for working with data collected from drone flights. Currently, GBI is doing civil engineering work around the demolition of the former Maui Prince Hotel. The drone data helps the construction people figure out how much material they had onsite – to judge what material they need to remove before the land is at its final elevation. We can calibrate the volume of stockpiles, or low lying areas that need to be filled in, by processing the aerial pictures the drone takes of the site.”
Describing how the drone collects data, Richards noted, “What it’s doing is taking overlapping pictures of an area with the camera pointed straight down. The combined images produce two different results. The first product is an image called a mosaic. While at first it may just appear to be a big picture of a site, it possesses a unique and useful feature: it is orthographic. This means that the final projection is a perfect representation of the surface of the site that is both completely 2D and scalable, meaning that unlike a regular image taken of the same site, one can measure distances in the picture and find perfect measurements.”
Richards explained that the other resulting image of the drone topographic survey is what is called a point cloud. A point cloud basically maps each pixel of the entire mosaic image using several surrounding images as references to trilaterate the landscape. They can then associate each pixel with an elevation.
The final product is a bunch of colored points corresponding to the surface of the mapped-out site. Zoomed in, the created image looks like a cloud of points. Zoomed out, it is a comprehensible 3D image of the surface.
“We took a quick visit to the Maui Prince site with Mr. Clarke to show the workers the drone work at GBI,” he said.
“We showed the orthogonal mosaic image to some of the onsite engineers to help them get a sense of what the drone can actually do for them, and what they can use the images for. It was a great experience to visit the site and it gave us a good awareness of the property.”
Richards concluded, “It was very insightful to see just how much effort goes into projects that we normally take for granted. During MEDB’s STEMworks Summer Internship program, I helped GBI in the steps that lead up to the development of land. It was a great experience!”