The KCI received a two-year science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning partnership from the Hawaii Community Foundation this spring. Five KCI educators, led by KCI Executive Director Gay Krause, traveled to Waikoloa and the University of Hawaii at Hilo to share instructional best practices with 75 educators.
The rigorous programs were designed to provide teachers of grades 3–12 with instructional strategies that support the Aloha state’s efforts to prepare students to successfully meet future workforce demands. Preparing teachers who understand and can effectively teach STEM education supports students who will ultimately fill STEM-related jobs in Hawaii and around the globe.
In year one of the partnership, KCI teachers presented two Mini-MERIT (Making Education Relevant and Interactive through Technology) Programs to support teachers as they devised innovative methods of integrating technology into their curriculum and classrooms, with the ultimate goal of offering a technology-rich learning environment for students. During the 2016–2017 academic year, the KCI is providing the Hawaiian teachers with access to online and blended learning courses via teleconferencing.
During the partnership’s second year, the KCI will present another Mini-MERIT Program, as well as the KCI’s new Modeling Analysis Design Engineering (MADE) Science Program. These programs will enhance the skills of even more teachers, and selected teachers from the year-one program will join the instructional team in year two. This will help build capacity within Hawaii and cultivate teacher-leaders who will continue the work with other teachers in Hawaii. Aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, the KCI’s MADE Science Program will train teachers to integrate technology into science curriculum. Additional programs may be added in future years based on the success of the two-year program and funding.
The end result will be students who will gain hands-on application of technology to document their work and publish it using still images, video and audio recordings, spreadsheets, and graphs to demonstrate their mastery of the content standards. This, of course, will help students be better prepared to succeed in college and/or career training programs.