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Maui economic board seeks entries for 2nd Inouye innovation prize

By Star-Advertier staff

LAST UPDATED: 9:59 p.m. HST, May 25, 2014

The deadline is July 15 for entries into a student science and technology contest sponsored by the Maui Economic Development Board.

The Daniel K. Ino-uye Innovation Award was created last year to reward students who demonstrate an innovative use of science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called STEM fields, to serve and improve the community.

"Senator Inouye was a visionary who saw how important it is to affirm and invest in our students, the future of Hawaii," board President and CEO Jeanne Skog said in a statement last week. 

 Last year's winning proj-ect was conceived and produced by King Kekau-like High School students Lotus Chen and Sierra Harrell. Using GPS technology and practical applications of math and science, the students mapped out roads leading to and from their school campus.

Then they marked areas that needed crosswalks and sidewalks and took note of troublesome spots where motorists might lose sight of pedestrians. They shared their geo-spatial map with state and county officials, and their work resulted in Gov. Neil Abercrombie releasing nearly $1 million for the Maui County Old Hale-akala Highway Sidewalk proj-ect.

"Dan would have been pleased that these students worked on a project to potentially save lives," said Inouye's widow, Irene Hirano Inouye. "He was always delighted to see the talented and articulate students display their science, technology, engineering and math projects."

The award will be presented at the annual Ke Alahele Education Fund dinner on Aug. 23 at the Grand Wailea Resort & Spa.

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