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Full STEAM Ahead!

WMS STEAMING Forward - Teachers & Staff Welcome STEAM Program Coordinator Brent Takenouchi 


Our beautiful new 9-classroom STEAM Learning Center is a critical step forward toward providing our students and school-community with 21st century teaching and learning, but it needed lots of additional technology and our teachers need help with STEAM program coordination.  So Waimea’s Legislators secured a $298,000 Grant In Aid for us back in May.  Now, we have recruited technology-engineering teacher Brent Takenouchi and he is working closely with teachers to provide both student and teacher support and begin to offer additional professional development and community learning opportunities.  Brent brings extensive robotics and makerspace experience to our school.  He also has taught Japanese and has an Aikido black belt!  He just  started with us Jan. 22, so we will have more specifics soon.  

WMS welcomed State House Leadership to campus to tour our new STEAM Learning Center recently -- both to celebrate this 9-classroom addition and to also ask for additional funding to address safety and security issues in the new building.  Here we are joined by House Speaker Scott Saiki, Vice Speaker Mark Nakashima, Majority Floor Leader Dee Morikawa and our own State Rep. David Tarnas.  We sincerely appreciate Rep. Tarnas and Rep. Nakashima arranging for this site visit to discuss the safety of our children, teachers, staff and community -- most notably because of persistent flooding issues.  While here, they also inspected the vacant gravel lot next to the school and post office which the legislature provided $1.6 million in the 2018 session to acquire from Parker Ranch for much needed parking, primarily for the elementary school.  

News Feature - West Hawai'i Today - March 4, 2019: 

https://www.westhawaiitoday.com/2019/03/04/north-hawaii-news/lawmakers-listen-hawaii-island-representatives-and-house-leadership-hear-community-input/ 


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.

Learning about prototyping...mahalo to the Makani Wind Kite engineers!  
VEX Robotics Competition...

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