On Friday, May 6th, The University of Hawai’i Mānoa Department of Mathematics & Institute for Human Services hosted their “Be a Scientist Night” at the Institute for Human Services, Oahu’s largest shelter. The Institute for Human Services (IHS) is 501c3 private non-profit organization and Hawaii’s most comprehensive human services group focused on ending or preventing homelessness.
Led by UH Professor Monique Chyba, who has worked with IHS for more than 10 years on events like this, the event returned after a two year break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Professor Chyba put together a fun night of STEM education activities for at-risk keiki and women, teaming up with the Hawaiʻi Pandemic Applied Modeling Work Group, UH’s Institute for Astronomy, UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Assistant Researcher Frances Zhu’s Lab, UH Mānoa’s Center on Disability Studies, and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. Participants had fun with activities ranging from math puzzles and modeling for disease spread, to biology and robotics.
Locally, Professor Chyba is recognized as the face of the Hawai’i Pandemic Collective – a group of scientists that were providing the public with projections and modeling scenarios for COVID-19 in Hawai’i. Her students were also involved in the COVID-19 mathematics modeling team that worked on delivering valuable insights about the prevalence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Hawai’i.
Students, faculty and staff from the supporting organizations led the various math games and STEM education activities. Oceanit’s non-profit, recently renamed the Oceanit Research Collective, provided a catered dinner for the shelter’s population. You can read more on UH Mānoa’s news feed: https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2022/05/16/be-a-scientist-night-ihs/