East Hawaii News

UHH-DOE Workshops Show Students Science

October 21, 2013, 6:06 PM HST
* Updated October 21, 6:10 PM
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Public school students are learning more about science through a federal program organized by the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s pharmacy school.

Teachers in the Department of Education’s Hilo-Waiakea Complex have been attending workshops designed to interest students in scientific processes.

Funded by the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, the workshops held by the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy helped teachers develop engineering projects for their students.

Elementary school teachers created solar water heaters, wind turbines, and a model house using both batteries and solar panels as sources of energy. Teachers in grades 6 through 12 explored ways to use GPS and other devices to measure temperature, salinity, C02 levels and other properties of soil and water.

At all levels, technology and mathematics were integrated into meaningful hands-on learning experiences with real-life applications, UH-Hilo officials said.

The teachers were provided with photovoltaic solar panels, GPS devices and other equipment valued at $7,500 to assist their coursework.

“This collaboration between the Hawai‘i Department of Education and DKICP shows America’s educational system at its best, working together on a common goal to expose students to their career choices at the right time in their educational path,” said Ken Morris, chair of the school’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, who led the workshops.

Waiakea High math teacher Eric Hagiwara said his students have responded well to the projects.

“The comment I most often hear from the students is, ‘now I know how this math can be used in real life,’” Hagiwara said. “This clearly indicates that the application is an important aspect of teaching math.”

Topics for future teacher workshops will include robotics.

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