ISEE announces the 2016 Akamai Symposia!

The 2016 Akamai internship is culminating in 3 final symposia:

– Monday, August 8 in Hilo at Subaru Telescope from 9 am-1 pm
– Wednesday, August 10 in Waimea at the W.M. Keck Observatory from 930 am – 1 pm
– Friday, August 12 in Kahului at the University of Hawaii Maui College from 930 am – 1pm


The Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory has become Akamai’s cornerstone funder, and continues as Akamai’s largest funding source in 2016, enabling this large cohort of accomplished local students.  This year, funding is also provided by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Hawaii STEM Learning Partnership at Hawaii Community Foundation (with support from 9 funders, including the THINK Fund and the Maunakea Fund), National Solar Observatory/Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope, and National Science Foundation.

Outcomes & Impacts of Akamai

See who we serve, how we have retained and advanced students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and the knowledge we have gained about mentoring and persistence in STEM.


The cost of supporting a college student from Hawai‘i in the Akamai Internship Program is approximately $15,000. Your donation helps make this valuable program available to more students.


Internships at high-tech companies and observatories in Hawai‘i to give college students an authentic experience doing a real project.



Training to enable Akamai mentors be effective in providing productive project experiences that are both valued by the host organization and educational for the intern.



Continued support for Akamai alumni in finding the right career and building their necessary skillsets.

Challenges to building Hawai‘i’s Scientific & Technical Workforce

Local Workforce

Building a local workforce is essential in Hawai‘i. People hired from the mainland are twice as likely to leave within a few years, compared to local hires. With two new telescopes planned for Hawai‘i (Thirty Meter Telescope and Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope), the need for local scientific and technical talent is growing. It makes sense to invest in developing a local workforce from many perspectives, including that it provides good jobs for the communities that host the telescopes.

Retaining college students in STEM

Many students enter college interested in pursuing a science or engineering degree. However, only 20-40% end up with degrees in these fields. The rest leave science or engineering, or leave college all together. A small increase in the fraction of students that stay in science or engineering could produce the people needed for jobs expected in Hawai‘i. Retaining students in science and engineering is considered to be the fastest and most cost-effective way of producing the scientific and technical workforce needed.

Mentored experiences that lead to jobs

Internships are widely regarded as an effective way to retain and advance students in science and engineering. However, not all internships are alike. Without good mentoring an internship has limited impact, or may even be a negative experience. With the right training, mentors can engage interns in projects that are educational and valued by the host organization – and ultimately make it much more likely that the intern will enter the workforce.

How has Akamai helped?

# of Akamai interns to date


National Persistence of College Students in STEM


Akamai Persistence in STEM

# of Akamai Alumni in STEM Jobs

What makes Akamai so successful?