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Full STEAM Ahead! PDE3 Workshop Teaches Educators To Engage Students In Citizen Science to Prevent Rat Lungworm Disease February 17, 2019

posted Mar 15, 2019, 5:29 PM by Steven Smith   [ updated May 9, 2019, 2:26 PM ]
PDE3 Workshop Teaches Educators To Engage Students In Citizen Science to Prevent Rat Lungworm Disease February 17, 2019

WMS co-hosted an important PDE3 Workshop for Teachers from across the island and state this past weekend in our new Keaoākea STEAM Learning Center to provide hands-on STEAM training designed to involve students of all ages in the prevention of rat lungworm disease through project-based learning.

The workshop introduced a new rat lungworm disease prevention educational curriculum with teacher manual developed by the UH-Hilo College of Pharmacy working with science educator Kehau Howe.  The curriculum includes an array of possible activities to engage students in Citizen Science to understand the complex life cycle of rat lungworms, and to learn how to safely prevent the disease and minimize harm to themselves, their families, fellow students, co-workers and the community.  It incorporates all core curriculum areas – science, math, reading and writing, technology and even art, plus hands-on time outdoors doing research.  It even included introduction to ArcGIS storytelling software. 

This 2-day session was the start of a year-long program that will lead to creating a portfolio presentation by each participant that ultimately will also contribute to the body of knowledge and awareness about rat lungworm disease prevention and treatment.  The fact is that while there’s research occurring about this extremely debilitating disease, there’s not much occurring around educating the public – and that’s what this program is designed to do, along with engaging students in solving a real world problem. 

MAHALO to our partners who made this possible including the State Department of Health, Mala’ai school garden, the Hawaii Farm To School Hui and Iolani School.  Thanks, too, to Franny Brewer with the Big Island Invasive Species Committee, who co-taught the workshop.  This is exactly the kind of engaging STEAM teaching and learning that the Hawai’i State Legislature and Governor envisioned when providing more than $15 million to build our school’s new 9-classroom Keaoākea STEAM Learning Center.  With the 2018 Legislative Grant In Aid, titled “Full STEAM Ahead!,” we expect to provide many more of these types of learning experiences for students, teachers and the entire community.