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Twigg-Smith receives 2014 Hawaii NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing


Hannah Twigg-Smith

Hannah Twigg-Smith

WAIMEA, Island of Hawaii—Hannah Twigg-Smith, a senior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), has received the 2014 Hawaii NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. The award, sponsored by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, recognizes young high school women for their computing-related achievements and interests as part of an effort to encourage more young women to choose careers in technology.

A total of six award-winners were selected from high schools across Hawaii for their outstanding aptitude and interest in information technology and computing, solid leadership ability, good academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The students will be recognized at an award ceremony on April 22 at the University of Hawaii Queen Liliuokalani Center on Oahu.

“Encouraging young women’s interest in technology careers is critical: our workforce needs their creativity and their innovation,” said Lucy Sanders, chief executive officer and co-founder of NCWIT.

Twigg-Smith is very involved with sports and research at HPA. She is a member of the schoolʻs swimming/diving and water polo teams and is working on a number of research projects at the schoolʻs Energy Lab. Her projects include work with the Imiloa Astronomy Center, creating the first virtual reality (VR) tours of all 11 Big Island observatories, development of a sleep apnea detection sensor, and most recently, collaboration with a drone team creating aerial, surface, and underwater VR scenes of coastal habitats.

Twigg-Smith recently presented her work at Macworld/iWorld 2014 in San Francisco and at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino.

“We at HPA are so happy for Hannah,” said Headmaster Lindsay Barnes. “Hannah is richly deserving of this recognition. Her computer science skills are amazing, but even more amazing is her wonderful personality.”

The NCWIT works to correct the imbalance of gender diversity in technology and computing because gender diversity positively correlates with a larger workforce, better innovation, and increased business performance. Increasing the number of women in technology and computing also has the potential to improve the design of products and services to better serve a more diverse population, and increase economic and social well-being by providing more women with stable and lucrative careers. For more information, visit

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