UH West Oʻahu receives nearly $275,000 for STEM Center of Excellence Pueo Prototyping Laboratory

Engineering station

Engineering work station for student-designed projects

The University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu was awarded a $274,728 grant from the Office of Naval Research to support the UH West Oʻahu STEM Center of Excellence Pueo Prototyping Lab. Funds are being used to expand the existing STEM Center of Excellence to include engineering work stations and 3-D printers for use by UH West Oʻahu students and the community.

Bachelor of Applied Science in Facilities Management students will soon have an opportunity to work with cutting-edge hardware and software to create and build command and control devices like printed circuit boards for sustainable facilities management. Students will gain first-hand experience with 2-D and 3-D design renderings and manufacturing.

“One of the really exciting aspects of the new Pueo Prototyping Lab is that students can take their ideas, translate them into engineering drawings, and then actually create what was originally just an idea into reality through the use of our new 3-D printers and Computer Numerical Control machines,” said UH West Oʻahu Associate Professor of Science Education, Richard Jones.

The new Pueo Prototyping Lab engineering stations and 3-D printers support a variety of UH West Oʻahu STEM and other programs. Forensic anthropology students will be able to digitally image a bone or artifact recovered from an excavation or crime scene and produce a 3-D replica suitable for classroom use.

“Working together with the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Hawaiʻi public schools, Kamehameha Schools, the Salvation Army Kroc Center Hawaii, and other community organizations, the Pueo Prototyping Lab will act as a center for STEM career exploration for keiki (children) and kupuna (elders) to create a variety of items incorporating traditional skills with the latest technologies and software,” Jones said.

Watch this video of a 3-D printer printing a pueo (owl) designed by UH West Oʻahu creative media graduate Mellissa Lochman.

Image courtesy of Julie Funasaki Yuen