Technological advancement


POSTED: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In high school there are only a few options for students who have already chosen a career. The opportunity for them to focus their studies in a certain field is stripped as schools strive to form well-rounded students.




Each week, Hawaii's teenage reporters tell us about their high school. Today's school is Moanalua High School



2825 Ala Ilima St.


Honolulu, HI 96818




Darrel Galera


Web site




Royal blue and silver






Na Hoku


Faculty adviser: Liane Voss


Editors: Reece Farinas and Michelle Ward




As a result the average student has one or two open slots in his or her schedule to take an elective of choice, usually a “;college required”; second language.

At Moanalua High School, a few teachers have created classes that spark students' interest in specific careers, including health services core and business core.

The industrial engineering technology, or IET, core class is taught by Randy Sakauye, a firm believer in what he calls “;real world applications”; that engage students in a deep technological thought process. IET core was designed to immerse students into a wide range of technologies and systems, all through hands-on projects and computer simulations.

While most classes cover material involving textbooks and the “;inexhaustible”; imagination of teachers, IET explores technology in the fields of simulations, media, engineering, and material properties. Classes are taught both in the IET lab and smart lab, which house dozens of state-of-the-art computer software programs, compression measurement tools, simulators of all kinds, and even a pneumatics system.

Students are encouraged to be imaginative as each project design reflects their own personalities and work ethics. The course is solely based on hands-on projects, giving students “;something readily available to relate to”; once the class is over, Sakauye said.

Moanalua student Myle Lazero was placed in the IET program by chance. Lazero had not realized registrars placed him in the program until registration day, though he later benefited from the accident.

“;I really enjoy the class,”; Lazero said. “;I can definitely imagine myself doing this when I get older.”;

Through the IET program, students become attached to their application projects. Lazero became so engaged in the engineering design process, he decided to pursue engineering as a career.

Taylor Kai is taking the IET core class for his first year. He is interested in an engineering career.

He finds the work interesting because it is project-oriented and different from a traditional class. It blends academic skill with real-life tasks that encourage students to demonstrate authentic thinking and learning.

“;You can be more creative with the technology,”; he said.

Kai's mother, Maureen, said, “;The IET Core class challenges my son in ways that 'normal' schoolwork does not. It develops his ability to think abstractly and in non-linear ways, thus allowing him to be a better problem-solver in real life.”;

Taylor Kai and his partner are currently working on designing a house. Kai said each team is given dimensions and a budget and must design a house according to specifications. After the team has designed the house, they need to sell it to hypothetical buyers.

Kai explained how he uses drafting software called Sketchup to create a three-dimensional view of the house, Excel for the budget, and Word for the sales brochure. The team also will act as real estate marketers during the sales process.

Sakauye stressed the importance of being literate with computers as we grow up in a generation that depends on technology.

“;You can be the smartest person alive, but if you cannot communicate with the computer you might as well be the stupidest,”; Sakauye said.