STEM Pre-Academy

Welcome to STEM Pre-Academy!

STEM Pre-Academy fosters inspiration and relevance in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through collaborative interaction between middle school teachers, university researchers and subject matter experts. Multidisciplinary interaction takes place in the form of teacher workshops, technical support and tools, and is driven by teacher inquiry and need. This statewide program helps educators in Hawai‘i’s public middle schools develop research-inspired technologies and processes and implement them in student curriculum and activities.

STEM Pre-Academy provides similar collaborative educational experiences that enable University of Hawai‘i research students to interact with Hawai‘i teachers and students in the classroom, in the field, and through online participation.

Through its projects and partnerships, STEM Pre-Academy introduces teachers to STEM research, technology, and innovation—supplying their students with the inspiration to consider technology and educational workforce possibilities in their future careers.

Julie Segawa

Diving Deeper - A Teacher’s Experience with C-MORE Science Kits in the Classroom with Julia Segawa

As an 8th grade Earth and Space Science teacher, Julia Segawa enjoys “watching science come alive through hands-on, content-related activities.” Julia is the Stevenson Middle School host for the STEM Pre-Academy C-MORE Science Kits, and uses the kits to supplement her curriculum throughout the year. Read more...

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality - Ready, Set, Go!

Virtual reality and augmented reality are on the rise in classrooms. Here's a primer on getting started. Read more...

New Technology in a Traditional Art Class

Kapa‘a Middle School Art teacher Julia Sanderl shares her experience using a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 in a traditional art class. Read more...

Thoughts on Chromebooks with Logan Newbill

We caught up with Kapa‘a Middle School teacher Thomas “Logan” Newbill recently and asked if he would share his thoughts on Google Chromebook in the classroom. Read more...

Teachers Get Schooled!

On June 22 and 23, 2015, a workshop on the Engineering Design Process in middle schools was held at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Organized by the Hawaii Department of Education, the Office of Naval Research Project and Educational Leadership Program at Chaminade University, and STEM Pre-Academy, the workshop focused on giving teachers a solid foundation for implementing the Engineering Design Process in their classes. Read more...

Visit the new miniblog on Mobile Devices - Mobile Learning!

We've kicked off a new miniblog on this site and hope you’ll join the online conversation to learn more about the various mobile devices that are now inundating the consumer market and some of which are now being used in the classroom.

Nutrition Researcher Speaks to PE Classes

When science and engineering principles collide, the result can be quite practical with far-reaching effect as students at Jarrett Middle School learned in October from UH Jahren Geobiology Laboratory Research Technician, Josh Bostic.

Josh gave a great presentation to 3 PE classes at Jarrett Middle School on the science behind added sugars in the standard American diet. The students learned that making healthy food choices now will help keep their bodies healthy and free of chronic diseases in the future.

Follow-up Mini Workshop: Water Quality Field Trip to Kualoa Ranch

On Saturday, July 26, 2014, teachers from Waipahu Intermediate, Aliamanu Intermediate, Moanalua Middle and Ewa Makai Middle schools met at Kualoa Ranch Educational Center to participate in the STEM Pre-Academy Water Quality Follow-Up Mini Workshop.

Dr. Marek Kirs, a researcher at the University of Hawaii Water Resources Research Center, shared his research data and insight on water quality in the streams and beaches in Hawaii.

Feature Project: iPad Enabled Digital Publishing @ Moanalua Middle School

At Moanalua Middle School, Language Arts teacher Kathy Nagaji and her team piloted a project with students entitled, “iPad Enabled Digital Publishing”. They drew inspiration from the October 2013 iPad workshop co-presented by STEM Pre-Academy, Hawaii Creative Media, and students from Searider Productions, Wai`anae High School.

The Leaves

thayamichi's picture

I was able to initiate the 3D printer with an iphone app, but not with a laptop. But I still need step by step procedure.
My student will be creating a prototype model using legos and scan and modify it with software. Is it possible?
So I would like to know how to scan an object and modify it with programming software as a prototype model prior to printing out.
As I read the manual and found that we need a canner separately(?) Is it available at your office?
Thank you

2 days ago

sbrown's picture

Hi Tomo,

We don’t currently have a 3D scanner, but there are a couple of options that might be helpful to you and your students.

With the Lego Digital Designer ( you can build Lego models on the computer. (Then you can export parts lists and go buy the bits you need.)

But there’s also a path you can take to get the models out of Digital Designer and into a format that can be 3D printed.

There are a variety of ways to do this—but here’s an (slightly over-complicated) example:

This software is in the video, but also pretty good and actively developed:

I’d be happy to draft up a few instructions to help with this process—I’m sure there are others grappling with the same sorts of questions.

Thank you!


1 day ago
thayamichi's picture


I will try our your suggestions.

Thank you for your practical suggestions to actualize my students' engineering project.

Thank you


20 hours ago
pyerxa's picture

Aloha - my student wants to make a low cost prosthetic hand. She is asking for the Arduino Uno & MyoWare Muscle Sensor. I am pretty sure you have the Uno but not sure about the muscle sensor. Do you have either of these?

Also, if she wants to 3-D print the hand she has drawn on a paper, what does she need to do to it before it is printed? And, can you help her with the 3-D printing?

Nov 13 2017 - 3:11pm

sbrown's picture

Hi Paige,

Sounds like a great project! We do have HyperDuino / Arduino kits available in the Toolkit (, but we don’t have the MyoWare sensor. Adafruit ( is a great (and reliable) place to pick these up, though. (

For a topic as broad as 3D printing and prosthetics, we don’t have all the answers, but I can point to a few helpful resources.

Thingiverse ( has an assortment of prosthetics that folks have designed and donated to the community. They often come with resources to ‘take it a step further’ and incorporate electronics and servos. This is hardly an exhaustive list, but a good taste of what’s out there.

There are even a bunch of arm-building tutorials out there that would be very helpful:

I hope these help you get started! Good luck!


1 day ago
sbrown's picture

This is mind-blowing! As someone on the internet said:

"How wild is that? Thing sits on Earth for nearly five millennia. Only now do we find there's an actual hidden chamber inside. What's even more wild is that researchers aren't exactly sure what might be inside."

Great Pyramid: Scientists found a mysterious void inside using cosmic rays - Vox
thayamichi's picture

One of the students have been working on a quantitative analysis of beta-carotene in carrots for the science project. I wonder anyone has any precise idea how to measure beta-carotene as we have not found a doable procedure to do this.
Thank you

Oct 4 2017 - 12:40pm

Carol.Oshiro's picture

Hi Tomo!

Thanks for contacting us. The process of quantifying beta-carotene in carrots will involve a two step process: 1) Extraction of beta-carotene in carrots and 2) measuring the the absorbance of the beta-carotene using a spectrometer. This process will require the use of a non-polar solvent such as ethanol. Is this what you had in mind, if so, I can e-mail you the specifics.

Thank you! Carol

Oct 5 2017 - 2:25pm
sasakidy's picture

Hi Tomo, to add to Carol's comments... please check to make sure this is appropriate for your needs.

Oct 5 2017 - 2:48pm
thayamichi's picture

Hi Carol,

Thank you for sharing idea on beta-carotene measurement.

I will study more and test it out with ethanol, and may contact with you late again.

Thank you again for your prompt reply on my question.


Oct 23 2017 - 10:11am
randallshinn's picture

Good Evening,

I have a student who is an 8th grader that is very interested in doing a science fair on nuclear fusion and stars. Since I have a basic knowledge and understanding of nuclear fusion and stars, I was hoping that you would be able to point me in the direction of someone who would be willing to mentor a student of mine. If you could provide me with a contact information, that would be great!

Look forward to hearing back from anyone with contact information.

Sep 27 2017 - 7:53pm

sbrown's picture

Hi Randy,

I put a couple feelers out and will let you know shortly what we find!

Thanks for reaching out, sir!


Sep 29 2017 - 12:57pm

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