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Hawai‘i CC STEM students gain experience in astronomy sector

Malcolm Chun, far left, and Julina Lee, far right, are two of the Hawai'i CC students who participated in the Akamai Workforce Initiative.

Three Hawaiʻi Community College students put their science and technology skills to use in the astronomy sector this summer as part of the Akamai Workforce Initiative. The student internships culminated in community presentations of their projects on August 9 and 10 on Hawaiʻi Island.

Malcolm Chun, an electronics technology student at Hawaiʻi CC, worked at the Institute for Astronomy on a project to upgrade the system that opens and closes 22,000-pound doors on the UH 2.2m Telescopedome.

Chun said his experience shows the “Akamai Workforce Initiative is an invaluable experience that serves up real-life challenges that prepare you for a career in science, technology, engineering and math fields.”

Julina Lee, who graduated from the Hawaiʻi CC information technology program in May, interned at the Subaru Telescope. She worked on a project to modify how images taken at the summit at night are transferred to astronomers.

Noah Levine, also an information technology student, interned at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. He worked on a project to help monitor the electricity used during general operations at the observatory on the summit of Maunakea.

“The end product is a group of webpages grouped by equipment on Status Server that displays current, voltage and power factor information, both real-time and over a past interval, pulled from the energy monitors in table and graph form,” according to Levine’s description of the project.

Lee and Levine plan to pursue bachelor’s degrees in information technology, and Chun wants to seek a career in telescope instrumentation when he graduates from Hawaiʻi CC.