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STEM Pre-Academy

Welcome to the STEM Pre-Academy!

The STEM Pre-Academy fosters inspiration and relevance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics primarily through initiatives, such as teacher workshops, technical focus sessions, and collaborative interaction between middle school teachers and subject matter experts. This teacher-driven multidisciplinary program helps middle school public educators develop and implement research and technology based student curriculum including lessons, activities and projects.

The STEM Pre-Academy is a state-funded program, focused on public middle school teachers in Hawaii.

Latest News

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

Recent Comments:

admin: You bet! I'll post all of them, but which session where you interested in... Read More...
pyerxa: I noticed that a lot more students were involved in the challenge because of... Read More...
pyerxa: @edwinjcolon @spramento Aloha Edwin & Shawn - was trying to reserve 11 of... Read More...
mkamimura: @beckymoylan You should definitely give it a try! Google Classroom is a great... Read More...
edwinjcolon: @merrillranken we’re looking into it! will get back to you as soon as possible. Read More...
beckymoylan's picture

I am getting ready to teach the visual storytelling. Is there a place to find the handout given at the workshop?

1 day ago

admin's picture

You bet! I'll post all of them, but which session where you interested in? Basic Shots, CAPs, or Sequencing and Editing?

19 hours ago
pyerxa's picture

Today in the Women in Technology excite camp we used these remote controlled things called Spheros. The design challenge today was to create a water vehicle that was powered by Sphero using given supplies. To be continued...

Jul 1 2016 - 1:03pm

pyerxa's picture

I noticed that a lot more students were involved in the challenge because of the technology involved. There were also different jobs for each of the group members. Like 2 students could be involved in the build of the vehicle and the other 2 could be involved in programing and driving the Sphero.

I really love using the EDP in my classroom because students that don’t usually do well in Science actually excel in the design challenges. Then this helps them build confidence and get excided about fields in STEM.

I then started thinking of all the different design challenges I could do with this Sphere in my Science class at Jarrett. The boat design challenge, creating a device to write with, create a vehicle to serve particular purposes. Even creating their own design challenge that could be powered by the Sphero. They can then use programming to get the Sphero to drive itself through challenges.

The Sphere is the perfect device to teach the Engineering Design Process and has so many applications. Would it be possible to get a class set of Spheros through the STEM Pre-Academy (5 or 6) so that middle school teachers can rent them for their class? I know they would be a valuable resource for teaching STEM and the EDP.

Jul 1 2016 - 1:04pm
pyerxa's picture
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Jun 28 2016 - 8:37pm

pyerxa's picture



Aloha Edwin & Shawn - was trying to reserve 11 of the Makey Makey kits for around the week of Sept. 6-9. However, it gives me an AJAX HTTP Error 500. Don't know the problem. Tried to attach the error but it erased my leaf and didn't properly attach. Can you help me with this please?

Also, Edwin - was going to focus my Engineering class this year on Sustainability and renewable energy. Want to do a boat design challenge but need to purchase a 3-4 motors, shafts, and propellers. Ebay is probably the cheapest. Just not sure exactly what I need and the sizes. If you get a chance can you help me with this?

Also, if you know of any good design challenges with renewable energy can you send them my way please? I was going to do a couple basic ones (like the boat and windmill) but I would like for the main challenge to be something the students generate on their own. Please keep me in mind if you see anything cool. Mahalo

BTW - it wouldn't attach this as a leaf so I had to send it as a comment. Mahalo

Jun 28 2016 - 8:44pm
beckymoylan's picture

Has anyone used Google Classroom? I am thinking about trying it this fall.

Jun 9 2016 - 10:42am

mkamimura's picture

@beckymoylan You should definitely give it a try! Google Classroom is a great tool to share information and communicate with your students. Not only can teachers post assignments and announcements, but students can also create posts and comment on posts made by their peers.

If you're already using Google Apps for Education, it's a great way to integrate the various Google Apps like Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Slides into your classroom. It also helps to organize and manage student work. (You don’t have to worry about finding the documents that your students share with you, etc.) AND….since students can submit assignments through Google Classroom, you don’t have to worry about getting email messages with huge file attachments. Teachers can see, in real time, which students have completed or not completed work, can check up on student progress, as well as provide feedback and comments on student work.

Remember, though, that all of your students need to have their own Google Apps for Education account (on your school domain) in order to access your Google Classroom.

Good luck!!! :)

Jun 9 2016 - 4:56pm
kara.suzuka's picture

I came across this nice article published on the ISTE site in 2015 on 3D digital fabrication – including the use of the FabLab ModelMaker software and teaching/learning about surface area. The article also touches upon some of the typical challenges students face when learning about measurement involving 3D solids that I found helpful:

See the rest of the Leaves...