By Sarah Hendrix | Staff Writer

Krystal Mokuahi, 24, displayed “The Slang”, a project she created this semester for her ENG 272G class for S.U.R.F. (Student Undergraduate Research Fair). “The Slang” is a new and improved sling for people with arm injuries. Mokuahi took the traditional model of a sling and restructured it so that patients using “The Slang” would be more comfortable and have better support for their arm injuries. She was excited to participate in S.U.R.F. because her boyfriend continues to get in accidents with his shoulder, and she wanted to design a sling that was more comfortable and practical than a traditional sling.

“I created a new and improved sling, I named it ‘The Slang,’ it’s been inspired by my injury-prone boyfriend,” Mokuahi said. “He is always in a sling, and he always has shoulder tension. Having that one single strap sling does create headaches and dizziness that he does experience. So, with that, I created a new design that will eliminate all the unnecessary stresses that a traditional sling brings.”

Mokuahi’s project is a part of S.U.R.F., a research fair at KCC that displays student projects at the end of each semester. The projects have been on display this week from Monday-Wednesday in ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria, STEM Center and Lama 118.

Students gather around posters in ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria presented by students participating in S.U.R.F. (Photo by Sarah Hendrix)

The goal of Mokuahi’s project was to create an item that she could market to the students that came through the ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday. As students came through, they were given the chance to ask Mokuahi questions about “The Slang” and fill out a survey to win a prize at the end of the presentations.

Some of the benefits she has incorporated into “The Slang” are the breathable material, a built-in pocket for people to hold their phone, adjustable cross-back straps and shoulder pads that can freeze or be heated to help with muscle aches.

“No one [in ENG 272G] did this option [of creating a project for S.U.R.F.], so I’m like ‘I’m going to take the challenge. I have a problem that I want to solve,'” Mokuahi said, who will be graduating this semester and transferring to UH Mānoa in the fall. “So I just came up with this idea. I incorporated a lot of the good things [a traditional sling has and] … I kind of combined everything and got some inspiration from back correctors, posture correctors and also some women bra designs that would help keep you comfortable.”

STEM outreach coordinator, Keomailani Eaton, has been coordinating S.U.R.F. every semester at KCC for the past year and a half. S.U.R.F. happens at the end of each semester and many professors at KCC use it for their students’ final projects.

“Initially we use this to showcase the undergraduate research of our STEM students, but we have recently expanded our reach into the campus,” Eaton said. “So now S.U.R.F. showcases undergraduate research from the following disciplines: english, communications, economics and Native Hawaiian academic advancement program, and we’re looking to reach out into the campus some more too.”

This year the theme of S.U.R.F. was Pupus and Posters, which was supplied with the help of BOSP (Board of Student Publications). BOSP supported the event by providing snacks for students who came by to see the posters, and it supplied paper used by KCC students for their posters that were displayed in ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria.

This semester there are 200 posters being displayed in S.U.R.F from Monday until Wednesday. The last day of presentations will be Wednesday in ʻŌhiʻa Cafeteria from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Lama 118 from 9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m.