Chaminade University held “Engineering Days” for two Kaimuki schools this past spring.  The first one, March 28, was held for Anuenue School, a Hawaii public charter school. The second, April 28, was for Palolo Elementary School. Both schools are located in Palolo Valley off of 10th Avenue in Kaimuki.

On each  ”Engineering Day,”   local engineers, scientists, and technicians from private companies and the U.S. Navy volunteered at the schools and worked with students, hoping to inspire students  to seek STEM-related careers. Volunteer engineers discussed what engineers actually do, shared how the engineers got involved in their fields, and shared how the K-5 students could also become involved in engineering. Volunteers also demonstrated various uses of technology and engineering principles, as well as provide hands-on activities that help illustrate what engineers do.

The “Engineering Days” were part of Chaminade’s “Technology Enhanced Sustainable Aina Project,” funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR). In July 2011, the ONR awarded Chaminade a grant of $500,000 (at $250,000 per year for two years) for the project. Spearheaded by Katherine Kawaguchi, Chaminade Education Leadership and Project Director, the project focuses on the “E” in STEM by providing instruction in engineering principles through the Project Inspire program from Purdue University and included on-line instruction, mentoring sessions from the Purdue University Project Inspire staff, two credits from Purdue’s College of Engineering for the Anuenue and Palolo teachers, and facilitation of curriculum development and articulation sessions by a team of Chaminade consultants.

Throughout the project, students at Anuenue School and Palolo Elementary School have been engaged in solving real-world problems such as improving water quality by inventing filtration systems, redesigning their underwater robots to collect water samples, devising aquaponics systems and accompanying wind turbines and solar collection units to power the pumps, designing a natural system to prevent soil erosion, fabricating an on-campus rain-forest, inventing a water catchment for vegetable gardens, and developing an iPad app game to teach about medicinal plants.

Educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. A Native Hawaiian serving institution, Chaminade is located at 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816.  For more information, visit the Chaminade Web site at or call (808) 735-4711.

HONOLULU—March 11, 2013   (Rev. Release)            MEDIA CONTACT: Kapono Ryan