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Full STEAM Ahead!

WMS STEAMING Forward - Recruiting A STEAM Program Coordinator 

“Full STEAM Ahead!” said the 2018 Hawai’i State Legislature as they authorized a substantial $298,000 Grant In Aid (GIA) to help Waimea Middle School (WMS) more fully embrace 21st century teaching and learning in its new $15 million, 9-classroom Keaoakea STEAM Learning Center. 

Now, Gov. David Ige has released this GIA funding to the State Department of Education and a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is in place with WMS, so the school is now recruiting a STEAM Program Coordinator to collaborate closely with teachers and staff to more fully meet the needs of students and the wider community including educators from throughout the region.

“The new STEAM Learning Center was dedicated this past January, and WMS teachers have already significantly changed their approach to teaching, embracing more integrated curriculum and project-based learning best practices,” said WMS Principal Janice English.  “This has been a huge undertaking because it completely changes how you deliver instruction,” said English. 

“But we didn’t have needed technology, so we sought out private donors to help support our teachers.  These donors contributed essential technology such as 3D printers for the makerspace, video cameras and editing equipment for the new – still in its infancy – broadcast studio, and presentation technology for the large demonstration lab.” 

But to fulfill the vision, shared by both the school and legislature in funding this 21st century learning center, considerably more technology and support were needed, including new partnerships with leaders in the science-technology world, said the Principal.   

“The legislature and Governor understood this and awarded us the GIA both to purchase needed technology, and as important, to fund a STEAM Program Coordinator to ensure technological and educational expertise is provided both for our students and families, and also for use by educators throughout the region as to collaborate in developing and implementing relevant and engaging lessons and projects which challenge students and the community to find solutions to real world problems,” said Principal English.   

The new STEAM Program Coordinator’s responsibilities include:  

·   Establishing a sustainable STEAM Professional Development Center

·   Researching and implementing STEAM promising practices and protocols in collaboration with WMS teachers and the wider community

·   Procuring and maintaining end-user technology and equipment for the center

·   Securing community technological, educational and cultural expertise and funding support

·   Planning, providing and evaluating STEAM professional development activities for educators within the school and the region, and also STEAM lessons and activities for students, staff, families and community members within the region

·   Advocating for and supporting inquiry- and project-based learning

·   Assisting the WMS Principal and staff in writing grants and/or developing partnerships to support STEAM programming. 

The Legislative GIA is a one-year grant but the school has made a commitment to work to secure funding support for at least three years to develop a sustainable STEAM program that strengthens student engagement and college-career readiness.   

WMS’ GIA also includes about $175,000 in needed technology. 

“We are indebted to the Legislature and Governor for helping us raise the academic bar for all of our students and our community by providing educational programming that meet the needs of the 21st century world and workplace,” said Principal English. 

For more information about the STEAM Program Coordinator position and WMS’ Keaoakea STEAM Learning Center, see links below.  

Waimea Middle School's new 9-classroom, $15 million Keaoakea STEAM Learning Center was dedicated Jan. 8, 2018...and it's already transforming our teaching and learning!  
Please double click to read or download.

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Patti Cook,
Nov 19, 2018, 10:48 AM