STEAM for Student Engineers

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Hawaii CyberSpace and its Strategic Partners are proud to have designed and carried out the inaugural Engineer Week Inventive Engineer Poster Contest.

A special thank you goes out to the motivating teachers who made the contest come alive in their classrooms. A significant reward for each student’s effort was an increased awareness by the student of the engineering discipline. All participants were winners.

Each poster is an example of using STEM and Art to communicate technical ideas effectively.

The archived description of the Inventive Engineer Poster Contest are available here.

You are invited to offer comments or as questions via

Report on the 2014 Inventive Engineer Poster Contest

In just two months an important vision was achieved. The motivation was based on some legitimate concerns. The vision was to promote STEM education as an integration concept and link it with ART. The letters can then be combined to spell STEAM and denote the greater energy of the disciplines working together. Engineering is by itself the discipline most employing a full mix of skills as it reinvents the present to create the future. Part of the vision then was to introduce better the breath of engineering in our lives to middle and high school students.

Awards granted to students, teachers, and schools.

Some award winners have been announced during a recent interview of Philip Blackman, director of Hawaii CyberSpace on Think Tech Hawaii by Michael DeWeert. The interview is available for viewing at :

Additional awards are being still processed. A complete list will be posted here in March.

Please take advantage of our Facebook page to stay in touch with news put together by our student to student coordinator Yun Chang, 11th grade Punahou student:

Cool new stuff, winners, and poster pictures!

Philip Blackman Steam Awards

Statement by Philip Blackman, director of Hawaii CyberSpace

I am an alum and member of the MIT Club of Hawaii. I took the initiative and with the endorsement by the Engineers and Architects of Hawaii (EAH) society created a new event in Hawaii’s observance of National Engineers Week. I called it the “Inventive Engineer Poster Contest”. In the spirit of the previous month’s observance of School Choice, I made special effort to design the contest to be welcoming to all venues of learning and teaching for middle and high school students throughout the state. The rules challenged students to combine STEM skills and Art in an effective communication of a new or existing invention. Leonardo Da Vinci was established as an icon of that combination, and many students included quotes attributed to him. The students also commented on their positive learning experience derived from being in the contest.

The contest website has been archieved and is at:

Hawaii CyberSpace some time ago enlarged and directed its problem solving consulting practice to include an enthusiastic outreach supporting STEM education. And to STEM, Art was added to generate STEAM! In an inaugural event joining the observance of National Engineers Week in Hawaii, Philip Blackman, director of Hawaii CyberSpace, with the support of strategic partners, designed the Inventive Engineer Poster Contest.

The contest attracted hundreds of middle and high school student entries. The rules provided great latitude in choice of new or existing inventions, and even fantasy concepts. Students were guided to include math, diagrams, metric measurement units, and artistic composition style for clarity and interest. The students “got it” by evidence of the finished poster and also the student’s reflective written statement of what the experience brought to them. Mr. Blackman was motivated to emphasize design elements often noticeably missing in long duration Science Fair projects, and to encourage in the future more Engineering entries in the Science and Engineering Fair. Currently less than 10% of all the 7000 statewide entries are in the three out of 17 categories defined as engineering. Additionally in all categories only 22 out of the over 60 public high schools, and three of the over 60 private high schools are represented in any category.

In the spirit of January as school choice month, the contest designI made it easy for the full range of school option students, including home schooled students, to participate with a minimum of paperwork and procedures. Teachers and students made the challenge fun while fulfilling essential common core standards! Hawaii CyberSpace, and a strategic partner Stanton Web Applications, joined together to go from idea to vision to outstanding conclusion in only two months! The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and Associations for the State’s Math and Science Teachers joined as significant proponents. Hundreds of the posters went on public display over the Presidents’ Day weekend. The contest details are archived. That background and current and future plans may be reached at

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