KIHEI – Two new Microsoft “Digi Camps” will bring the latest in advanced code training to students in Maui County next year. The official announcement was made by Hawaii State Governor David Ige on Saturday, May 7th during the 7th Annual Hawaii STEM Conference held at the Wailea Marriott Resort. Participating students at this year’s Conference also gained hands-on experience with Microsoft’s Digi Camps during a coding workshop, one of over 40 student breakout sessions held this past weekend.
Microsoft has worked with the County of Maui and Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology (WIT), under its Digital Alliance program to address the need for digital education and workforce readiness.
“Forming an official Digital Alliance with Microsoft is a significant step toward building Maui County’s future workforce,” Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa said.
“We will be able to make the extraordinary resources of this technology leader accessible to our students with the goal of developing the skill sets needed for 21st century jobs. Given the latest challenges to our island’s economy, these kinds of educational opportunities can have lasting impact.”
“Microsoft is proud to support the County of Maui and MEDB’s Women in Technology by providing students with access to Digi Camps,” said Celeste Alleyne, director of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Microsoft. “We believe that technology has the power to help young people do more, achieve more and ultimately realize their full potential. Our hope is that giving young people access to foundational coding and computation skills at an early age will empower them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.”
The governor said efforts to encourage advanced skills in science, technology, engineering and math are helping create Hawaii’s future workforce and development of a more diversified economy.
“We do need to focus on the innovation economy,” Ige said. “It really is the next economic driver for Hawaii. Innovation jobs are higher paying, and it really is about creating an environment that supports entrepreneur availability of risk capital and encouragement of quickly expanding and quickly reacting companies to develop the businesses of the future.”
The governor said STEM programs “encourage students to learn base skills and tools and then really apply them to real-world problems. The students get so much more out of the learning than they normally would in traditional textbook and lecture classes.”
Both advanced coding Digi Camps are scheduled to launch in 2017 – one for boys and one for girls. Currently, attendee slots will be open to at least 50 boys and 50 girls. After completing the training sessions, each participant will receive a Microsoft Hour of Code certificate.
According to WIT Project Manager Mapu Quitazol, the County and MEDB’s Women in Technology are working closely with Microsoft to develop the Digi Camp agenda and promotion to local schools. Dates for the event will be announced once they have been finalized.
For more information, contact Mapu Quitazol, email@example.com or call (808) 875-2343.
Women in Technology is an initiative of the Maui Economic Development Board whose mission is to promote STEM throughout the state with hands-on and project-based service learning. Visit www.womenintech.com.
Over 883 students, teachers and industry professionals attended this year’s Hawaii STEM Conference on May 6 and 7. The event featured 43 student breakout sessions, 16 teacher professional development breakout sessions, 15 STEM competitions, a formal awards banquet, and STEM exhibit presentations. Attendees gained first-hand exposure to advanced technologies, the latest software training, and real world challenges in the form of fun, hands-on STEM team competitions. The Conference was sponsored by WIT in partnership with the County of Maui.