Nearly $5,000 in scholarships to be awarded at technology fair

The Third Annual Kaua‘i Technology Career Fair is scheduled to take place Sunday, from 7:30 a.m. to noon, at the Kaua‘i Community College Technology Center.

There will be exhibits by officials from high-tech companies, workshops, hands-on activities, demonstrations, and information shared about high-tech jobs available on Kaua‘i, according to a press release.

Additionally, 23 $200 scholarships will be given out in random drawings to students attending the fair. The scholarships can be used toward tuition or academic supplies at KCC.

To qualify for the scholarships, participants must be in grades six and above, with the intention to enroll at KCC.

“This is the largest dollar amount of scholarships donated so far,” said Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste. “We are very grateful for the generosity shown by these high-tech companies so our children can expand their educational opportunities.”

Leaders at BAE Systems, a Honolulu-based company, contributed $1,500 towards the scholarship program. Computer Sciences Corporation officials donated $1,000, and representatives of other companies also donated: Envisioneering Inc., General Dynamics, Kama‘aina Careers, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, Referentia, Science Applications International Corporation, Strategic Theories Unlimited, and Trex Enterprises.

So far, officials of 15 high-tech companies have signed up to exhibit at the career fair, along with representatives from the Kauai Economic Development Board (KEDB), U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), and the University of Hawai‘i College of Engineering.

A favorite among youngsters, there will be a robotics demonstration by Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School teachers Brenda Carvalho and Denice Mugg and their students, in preparation for the annual BotBall Competition scheduled later this spring.

Representatives of Envisioneering Inc. will also provide demonstrations on static electricity, and hands-on instructions for participants to make compasses and electromagnets.

Dr. Jeffrey W. Walden, a metrology engineer and head of the engineering division at the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center in Corona, CA, will conduct three mini-workshops, at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., in the multi-purpose room of the Technology Center.

The career fair is sponsored by leaders at KCC, KEDB and the county Office of Economic Development.

“The timing of the fair coincides with KCC’s annual American Culinary Federation fund-raising breakfast, so that we can take advantage of the 2,000-plus visitors who are already on campus that morning, and allow them to see more of what we offer,” said KCC Chancellor Peggy Cha.

The Kaua‘i Technology Fair is one component of Team Tech Kaua‘i, a partnership between officials of the county, state Department of Education Kaua‘i district, KCC, KEDB, PMRF, and local high-tech companies.

The program was initiated by Baptiste to encourage Kaua‘i youngsters to pursue degrees and careers in high technology on Kaua‘i.

Another component of Team Tech Kaua‘i, the Adopt-a-School program involving partnerships between representatives of every public school on Kaua‘i and local high-tech companies, was launched in October 2003.

Other elements of Team Tech Kaua‘i include the Kaua‘i In-STEP science show, which is presented annually to every fourth-, sixth- and eighth-grader on Kaua‘i, and a high-tech jobs Web site used by high-tech companies and Kaua‘i job-seekers.

“Senator (Daniel) Inouye issued us a challenge to better prepare our children for the jobs local high-tech companies can provide,” said Baptiste. “Through the hard work of our Team Tech committees, we’re making incredible progress.”

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