Lanai High & Elementary School juniors Jasmine and Keona Conroy-Humphrey have a love of learning — in and out of the classroom. So it makes sense that the sisters prefer their STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – classes in school. And as it turns out, they have a natural talent in this field.
This past August, Jasmine and Keona were honored with the first place Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award at the Maui Economic Development Board’s annual event for their Lanai Fire Hydrant Collection project. Their award-winning project is a digital map that helps users geolocate fire hydrants on Lanai using a mobile app.
Finding project inspiration in Lanai City
The sisters developed their idea while walking through Lanai City with their father. Jasmine and Keona discovered that there wasn’t much information about fire hydrant locations on the island, and they saw an opportunity to raise awareness and accessibility.
The project would allow them to use the technology and practice skills they learned in MEDB STEMworks, a hands-on lab where students gain access to high-end technologies for service learning projects. Through the program, Jasmine, Keona and their peers learn how to:
- Acquire and analyze information
- Tackle local issues and provide solutions
- Apply computer design and geospatial technologies
The fire hydrant project seemed like a natural fit for the skills they have gained. The sisters began by mapping the GPS coordinates of each fire hydrant using the Collector for ArcGIS app, which helps users collect or update spatial data in the field.
“We would physically locate a hydrant, upload its coordinates using the app and log the hydrant’s number,” said Jasmine. “Finding all the hydrants around town took a couple of months. We would set aside an hour or two each weekend to walk around and log the hydrants. There are about 200 located on Lanai.”
Using a binder and map provided by the Lanai Water Company, Jasmine and Keona finalized their data. They then consulted with the water company and Department of Fire and Public Safety to see if they had any feedback. Finally, Jasmine and Keona completed development of the “Lanai Fire” digital map layer, which users can import to any map that uses ArcGIS technology.
A winning STEM project
At first, the sisters began this project as a fun way to practice their skills. Then, only a week before the Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award applications were due, Jasmine and Keona applied. They discovered they were finalists three days before the ceremony was to be held on Maui.
Jasmine and Keona won first place and were awarded $3,300 each from the Daniel K. Inouye Fund. The sisters were delighted to meet their local senators and councilmembers, as well as other young innovators from the neighbor islands.
The two young women will use the award money to further this project and to fund their college applications. But even after they leave for college, they want to make sure their map is in good hands. The sisters are currently working with the Lanai Water Company and Lanai Fire Station to help both organizations adopt their technology and keep the maps updated.
To learn more about STEMworks and Women in Technology – the programs that inspired Jasmine and Keona – click here to see how you or your child may get involved.