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.
2017 was a exciting year for collaboration with Dr. Veronica Bindi, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. We kicked off the partnership with a hosted presentation by Dr. Bindi for students and teachers entitled, When is the Best Time to Send Astronauts to Mars? We kept the collaboration going with a research-inspired project to design and build a low-cost particle detector that will, when complete, be an excellent hands-on resource for teachers and students.
We're happy to announce some fantastic resources available now on our online Space Particle Group Outreach pages. You'll find edited videos of the When is the Best Time to Send Astronauts to Mars? presentation, as well as a wealth of other materials and resources related to Dr. Bindi's exciting work.
Please check it out, and stay tuned for a bunch more exciting updates!
The October, 2017 Research and Engineering Design Skills Clinic for Students and Teachers (RED) event has been featured in the University of Hawai‘i news!
(And also have a look at the video trailer that was produced!)
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 are on the rise in classrooms. Here's a primer on getting started. Read more...
Kapa‘a Middle School Art teacher Julia Sanderl shares her experience using a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 in a traditional art class. Read more...
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...
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.
Hi Randall. Thanks for the post. Let us get back to you shortly.
Hi, does anyone have a pre-made introduction to aquaponics powerpoint that you would be willing to share? If you have a hydroponics powerpoint too, that would be great!
Aloha Caroline & Edwin,
Aug 17 2018 - 7:40am
Thanks for reaching out. I can personally assure you that 3D printing, while an incredibly powerful tool, is nowhere near as daunting as it seems! With a little information, we can definitely get you folks going.
First of all, do you have some ideas of what you would like the students to create? Or, at least, your learning objectives for the printing experience? What you want the students to print will determine which printer capacity we'll send over to you, which will, in turn, determine which filament and software you will use.
Makerbot and Afinia printers each have their own filaments. We'll provide you with some to get started, and you may need to purchase more, depending on the volume of the pieces that are being printed. But don't worry! We'll send you a link to the exact type of filament to buy.
Both Makerbot and Afinia printers also have their own freely downloadable operating software, which essentially acts as the interface between your design and the printer hardware. You can have the students create and export their designs on any 3D modeling software, and simply import the STL file to the printer's respective operating software for printing. Think of downloading your digital photos and getting them printed.
I'll follow up more with you offline, but here's a link to get you started: https://stempreacademy.hawaii.edu/subject/3d-printing
Aug 17 2018 - 11:14am
We received an email about lettuce seedlings for hydroponics:
QUESTION: "As of this morning, in the chamber set up 8/8 all but one netpot has sprouted, in the second chamber setup on 8/9 all but 2 have sprouted. I have also noticed tiny black flies near both light sources and domes for each class, are they a threat to the sprouts? And is it time to slightly open the vents on both domes?"
ANSWER: The first thing to do is find the source of the flies. (Hint: if you have an aquarium or other plants in your classroom, you may want to check there first!) In the meantime, you should keep the dome vents closed to prevent the flies from laying eggs in the seedlings' rock wool; to refresh the air inside, just lift the dome once or twice a day.
Our science department will be implementing the integrated science for grades 6-8 this school year. Currently, we are struggling with the concepts of electric and magnetic fields and was hoping that someone would be able to provide us with resources (links, readings, videos) on the difference as well as how they relate to each other. I have posted the NGSS standards below and hope that someone would be able to help us with the basics in understanding these concepts since the resources that we have been provided far exceed our understanding. Is there anyone out there that can help us?
Jul 24 2018 - 7:29pm
Thanks for reaching out. These are definitely difficult concepts to grapple with, so our team will compile some resources and return with some collective ideas!
Jul 25 2018 - 4:04pm
Randal, At which school are you teaching? I'm at Lana`i Middle School and we are beginning our implementation of an integrated curriculum. I teach 6th grade science but find in the proposed integrated curriculum, physical science is taught more in the 7th and 8th grades. So, we are modifying the proposed curriculum (the one on the NGSS website) so that most of the physical science remains with 6th grade. In your integrated curriculum, are your teachers changing their focus or are they sticking to mostly what they taught before (6th-physical, 7th-life & 8-earth)?
Aug 17 2018 - 7:35am
Hey! We are fully implementing the NGSS integrated model and tweaked it to fit our needs and how we see it best rolled out. At the moment, we have laid out 7th and 8th grade NGSS and have prepared the 6th grade standards for when we open up the 6th grade wing next school year. I hope this makes sense.
We decided to not just teach one type of science in one grade level and will be doing physical, life and earth across the board . This would allow a deeper connection and understanding for our students even though its a painful experience for the teachers since we have to relearn the subjects we have not taught or learned in years. So this year, we are fully implementing 7th and 8th with the hopes that we have a better understanding of phenomenon, cross cutting concepts and create common assessments that can be tweaked the following year.
If you would like me to share what we have, we are more than willing to share. Let me know.
Aug 17 2018 - 12:36pm