When Royce Shioi ’20 entered Punahou as a freshman, he met with Punahou teacher and robotics club coordinator Aaron Dengler, who invited him to join the club. Since then, he’s fully immersed himself into robotics, competing with the team, but also thinking of ways his problem-solving skills can be used for community projects.
When the D. Kenneth Richardson ’48 Learning Lab opened at Mamiya Science Center in 2018, Shioi and the rest of Punahou’s robotics team no longer needed to work on design and creation by hand. Students were now equipped with high-tech professional production equipment in the design and fabrication lab. “It provided a lot of resources and great new machines, like a waterjet and CNC router,” Shioi says about the lab’s high-powered cutting and milling devices. “It made the robot building process faster so we could take on bigger challenges. It really advanced the work we were doing.”
With the lab serving as a launchpad, he is now considering a career in engineering. “When you first walk into the lab, it’s intimidating because the machines are pretty big,” he says. “But the mentors are so nice, and they will help you and answer any questions you have, and talk you through what you want to do. I know now if something comes up, it’s there as a resource for me.”
These labs and design spaces in our Learning Commons across campus allow students to transform ideas into authentic products.They are an extension of every classroom and a hub of collaborative and creative energies on campus.