Students receive STEM accolades

Seven Sacred Hearts Academy students have been recognized by the National Center for Women and Informational Technology (NCWIT) Hawaii for the locally-affiliated Aspirations in Computing Award.

Sophomore Aiyana Arnobit and seniors Sydney Chock, Carlee Matsunaga, Shailyn Wilson, Taryn Wong, Christina Chen and Ashley Lardizabal have been selected by the local chapter in recognition of their contributions to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

They were nominated by Academy math department chair Deborah Kula, who has played an active role in mentoring the girls in their STEM endeavors at school.

“I encouraged all of my students to apply, if they have significant experience with STEM, especially with computers and programming,” Kula said.

Although the youngest, Arnobit is a veteran member of all technology-based clubs at the Academy. She has participated in robotics since the fourth grade, Girls Who Code since seventh grade and CyberPatriots since she was a freshman.

“I like problem solving and troubleshooting, and thankfully, that’s what STEM is all about,” Arnobit said. “Being a part of all these extra-curriculars have benefitted me and helped me recognize what I want to do in the future.”

At such a young age, her many accomplishments and participation have merited her to not only receive the locally-affiliated Aspirations in Computing Award but also earn an Honorable Mention for the National Aspirations in Computing Award.

“It’s an honor to be acknowledged for my achievements in computing,” Arnobit said. “I think it’s monumental to even have an award that warrants recognition for aspiring women in technology.”

The seven award recipients attended a luncheon at the University of Hawaii on April 11.

“I am proud of the accomplishments of these seven students and feel great that NCWIT recognizes their work and their potential,” Kula said. “I am proud of their persistence with ‘tough stuff’ and see a very bright future for them.”

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