Chaminade University will hold three “Engineering Days” for two local schools this March and April. The first is scheduled for March 13, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at Jarrett Middle School, located at 1903 Palolo Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816. The second and third Engineering Days are scheduled for April 2 and 8, from 8:30-11 a.m. at Anuenue School, a Hawaiian immersion public school, located at 2528 10th Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816.

At each school on its “Engineering Day,” local engineers, scientists, and technicians from private companies and the U.S. Navy have volunteered to inspire students into seeking STEM-related careers. Volunteer engineers will discuss what engineers actually do, share how the engineers got involved in their field, and how the students can also become involved in engineering. Volunteers will also demonstrate various uses of technology and engineering principles, as well as provide hands-on activities that help illustrate what engineers do.

The “Engineering Days” are part of Chaminade’s “Technology Enhanced Sustainable Aina Project (TESAP)” and the “Engineering Success in STEM (ESS)” project, which were funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) over the past four years. In July 2011, the ONR awarded Chaminade a grant of $500,000 (at $250,000 per year for two years) for TESAP.

Spearheaded by Katherine Kawaguchi, Chaminade Director (ONR Project and Educational Leadership Program), the project focused on the “E” in STEM by providing instruction in engineering principles, with a focus on the engineering design process using through the Project INSPIRE program from Purdue University. Included were on-line instruction, mentoring sessions from the Purdue University Project INSPIRE staff, two credits from Purdue’s College of Engineering for the Grades K-5 Anuenue and Palolo teachers, and facilitation of curriculum development and articulation sessions by the project director and a team of consultants from Pacific American Foundation.

With the intent of establishing the engineering design process as a K-12 “habit of the mind” in the complex, the “Engineering Success in STEM” project was developed and funded by the ONR for $785,000 over a three year period. This project extends the focus on the engineering design process and STEM-related careers into Grades 6-8 at Anuenue School, Jarrett Middle School, and Kaimuki High School. The engineering-focused curriculum for the professional development sessions with the secondary teachers was developed and taught by the UH-Manoa College of Engineering staff, with support for teachers’ unit development from the Project Director and the Pacific American Foundation consultants.

Throughout the project, students at Anuenue School, Palolo Elementary, Jarrett Middle, and Anuenue Kaimuki High have engaged in solving real-world problems such as: improving water quality by inventing filtration systems; devising aquaponics systems and accompanying solar collection units to power the pumps; designing a natural system to prevent soil erosion; fabricating an on-campus rainforest; inventing a water catchment for vegetable gardens; developing an iPad app game to teach people about medicinal plants and their uses; and designing an environmentally friendly process to anchor coral for propagation.

Though the event days are not open to the general public, permissions have been granted for members of the media to attend the event days, record, interview and share as well as meet with future engineers, innovators and their teachers.

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.


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