PISCES Accepting Apps for Women’s STARS Program

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Image courtesy of PISCES Hawaii.

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) is now accepting applications from eligible Hawai‘i high school girls to participate in the 2018 Women’s STARS (STem Aerospace Research Scholars) Program.

Held every summer, this week-long summer intensive aims to encourage more young women to pursue careers and studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) by exposing them to the lives and work of successful female scientists, engineers and educators.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), the 2018 STARS Program will feature a variety of guest speakers spanning the fields of Polynesian navigation, astronomy, geology, engineering, marine science and planetary science.


Students will be engaged with hands-on workshops in robotics and conduct a mock-Mars mission with Helelani, the PISCES planetary rover.

Participants will also be led on a series of behind-the-scenes tours exploring some of Hawai‘i Island’s world-class scientific research facilities, including the USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory, PISCES planetary analog sites, and several Maunakea observatories.

Twelve students will be selected to participate in the program, which will be held from July 9 to 13, 2018. There is no fee to attend STARS and all meals, transportation and overnight accommodations will be provided. Students must meet the following requirements to apply:

  • Female, 16 years or older;
  • Attend a Hawaii high school or be homeschooled in the state;
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher;
  • Be in good physical health.
  • Interested students may download an application and related forms for submission at: 2018-stars-program.

The deadline to apply is June 15, 2018.

Now moving into its fifth year, the STARS Program was launched by PISCES in 2014 to encourage and inspire more young women in Hawai‘i to pursue STEM careers by engaging them in the working world of STEM with female role models and mentors. According to a U.S. Department of Commerce report, “women are underrepresented both in STEM jobs and STEM undergraduate degrees and have been consistently over the last decade.” The report finds that although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25% of STEM jobs. STARS is also a part of PISCES’ Workforce Development initiative to develop and cultivate more youth interest in high-technology education and career tracks that support Hawai‘i’s growing technology sector.

This year’s program has received a $4,000 sponsorship from HTDC to support meal, transportation and accommodation costs. The week-long workshop will also be supported through numerous partnerships with local science, education and nonprofit institutions and organizations.


PISCES is a state-funded Hawaii aerospace center under the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). The Hilo-based agency is working to position the state as a leader in space exploration while developing sustainable products and technologies that benefit the Islands. Through Applied Research, Workforce Development and Long-Term Business and Economic Development, PISCES provides hands-on experience to Hawaii’s future scientists and engineers, preparing them to meet the demands of a highly competitive industry while improving the local economy through job diversification, innovative products and new industries.

About DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)
DBEDT is Hawai‘i’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawai‘i economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawai‘i’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments and promotes innovation sector job growth.

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