Skip to content Skip to navigation

STEM Pre-Academy

Welcome to the STEM Pre-Academy!

The STEM Pre-Academy fosters inspiration and relevance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics primarily through initiatives, such as teacher workshops, technical focus sessions, and collaborative interaction between middle school teachers and subject matter experts. This teacher-driven multidisciplinary program helps middle school public educators develop and implement research and technology based student curriculum including lessons, activities and projects.

The STEM Pre-Academy is a state-funded program, focused on public middle school teachers in Hawaii.


Latest News

Feature Project: iPad Enabled Digital Publishing @ Moanalua Middle School

At Moanalua Middle School, Language Arts teacher Kathy Nagaji and her team piloted a project with students entitled, “iPad Enabled Digital Publishing”. They drew inspiration from the October 2013 iPad workshop co-presented by STEM Pre-Academy, Hawaii Creative Media, and students from Searider Productions, Wai`anae High School. Kathy and her team successfully sparked students to write in various genres by providing them an opportunity to create relevant, high level products and share them with a wider audience of their peers. The curriculum developed and implemented boosted student engagement and motivation to all-time heights.


Follow-up Mini Workshop: Water Quality Field Trip to Kualoa Ranch

On Saturday, July 26, 2014, teachers from Waipahu Intermediate, Aliamanu Intermediate, Moanalua Middle and Ewa Makai Middle schools met at Kualoa Ranch Educational Center to participate in the STEM Pre-Academy Water Quality Follow-Up Mini Workshop.

Edwin Colon gave an "Introduction to Water Quality" presentation to go over the technical aspects of the water quality parameters teachers tested that day. Dr. Marek Kirs, a researcher at the University of Hawaii Water Resources Research Center, shared his research data and insight on water quality in the streams and beaches in Hawaii.

After the presentations, teachers headed out to the stream to to see how a field trip like this could benefit their students, and how they might incorporate it this upcoming school year.

Recent Leaves

sbrown's picture
sbrown

Great list for programming resources for kids (and adults!).

sbrown's picture
sbrown

The 2014 HaSTA Conference has begun!

Default ALT
Photo Credit: Cheryl Ishii
sbrown's picture
sbrown

There are a number of great things about this video, but what really stood out for me is this man's ability to teach with such clarity.

For fun, come up with your own explanation as to why dead batteries bounce before you watch. My guess was so very wrong.

pyerxa's picture
pyerxa

@edwinjcolon
Aloha Edwin - started another class on the Rocket Engineering Challenge. This time I changed it a bit due to a bunch of problems that I am having with Rocksim.
Made the design challenge broad...perhaps too broad. Students need to create a projectile with a new, innovative technology (preferably to the landing system but are not limited to landing systems). I thought they would come up with some crazy, great ideas but I think the topic may be too broad. There are 3 groups. 2 groups have no big ideas. They're thinking of making "lipstick" and "mascara" rockets that launch glitter. What? I have one group with a lot of ideas but still no one big idea.

Sep 2 2014 - 11:12pm
Show previous 7 comments
pyerxa's picture
pyerxa

The group has a couple great students. I told them if they can dream something up (even if they don't know how to make it happen), I could bring in an engineer to help. Tomorrow will be their last day to dream and get some ideas on paper. Do you think you have any time in the afternoon on Thurs, Fri, or Mon. to come in and discuss their ideas? Period 4 is usually sometime after 12. I can give you the exact times if you think you may be able to possibly come in. Any chance?

Sep 2 2014 - 11:13pm
pyerxa's picture
pyerxa

(continued from above)

Sep 2 2014 - 11:13pm
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

Aloha @pyerxa, Friday or Monday works. Can you provide and exact time frame on either days to lock it in my calendar? I'm looking forward to see your students ideas!

Sep 3 2014 - 8:49am
pyerxa's picture
pyerxa

Friday would be best. Period 4 on Friday is from 1:43-2:33. If cannot, Monday I have period 4 from 11:22-12:12. Mahalo Nui! BTW, it was perfect when you told them how much you would get paid as an engineer for an hour consult. Gets them thinking. I will make sure they have some ideas sketched out and ready to share with you. Mahalo!

Sep 3 2014 - 9:19am
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

I will be there Friday at 1:30 pm. If you have some of your student ideas, please send them to better prepare myself for their questions. Mahalo.

Sep 3 2014 - 2:59pm
pyerxa's picture
pyerxa

Gosh, my students are really having a hard time with this. I think I would have been better off just having them focus on the height. Here is what they've got.

1 team making a hula rocket (with hula skirt fins & a flower parachute) - they don't need help

1 team wants to have a shuttle like thing come from it. They can't figure out how to put it inside, so they are just thinking of making it break in half and the rocket will have wings - just need to figure out how to land both pieces. They wanted to know if there's some type of remote they can attach to fly the rocket. This group has a huge imagination but doesn't know what to do with it. Basically they want to turn it into a jet type thing.

1 group (the higher level group) wants to make some type of helicopter landing system that pops up from the tail. Their picture is strange.

1 single kid wants to make some type of helicopter landing system, too.


Honestly, I thought this group of kids would have more ideas and I'm having trouble with where to lead them. Two HUGE focuses are having a helicopter landing system and also having the rocket launch some type of jet. I showed them the video of the kid that made the helicopter but they did not take to it much.


My hope in you coming is to give them more of an engineers perspective. It's almost impossible to prepare for.

They really think this is a grant, though (just like the last group of students). The SPEC chart says it must go 125+ feet with an A8-3 motor, must have an innovative technology (preferably landing system) and be 1-4 oz.


Anything you can help me with would be great. Just having you stop in sparks their ideas.


I showed them these mini solar panels with super small motors I have. Tried to get them to apply that somehow but they did not take to it.

Sep 4 2014 - 3:08pm
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

Thanks @pyerxa, this gives me an idea of what your students have in mind. I will try to provide some ideas on how to design and build some of them and guide those who still don't know what to do. See you at 1:30pm!

Sep 5 2014 - 10:01am
himbed's picture
himbed

HIMB would like to announce the continuation of science inquiry education field trip opportunities to the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology. We are currently scheduling reservations for the 2014-2015 school year ending May 2015.

We offer marine science-inquiry based experiential fieldtrips available for high school science classes on the following topics:

Ocean Acidification—using coral skeletons and manipulating pH with CO2 to measure the effects on water hardness and calcium carbonate dissolution.

Bioacoustics—using hydrophones to listen and analyze the sounds of invertebrate interactions.

Fertilization—using collector urchins to test the effects of water quality on fertilization success and embryonic development

edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

@randallshinn Check this alternative for your aquaponics greenhouse and photo-voltaic applications.

Hawaiian Electric: 	Sun Power for Schools Channel Page
sbrown's picture
sbrown

Curious if any teachers out there were thinking of using this. It was going to be a September rollout, but now it looks to be coming on 11 Aug!

Introducing Classroom for Google Apps for Education
Aug 6 2014 - 12:30pm
randallshinn's picture
randallshinn

@sbrown, this would be very interesting!

Aug 7 2014 - 6:19am
sbrown's picture
sbrown

Agreed! Like a good magic trick, this seems like one of those it's-all-in-how-you-execute-it sort of thing.

Aug 8 2014 - 11:48pm
randallshinn's picture
randallshinn

Does anyone know where I can order a classroom kit of solar car (including panels, balsa wood, gears,etc.)? Would you be able to provide me with the link? Thanks!

Jul 30 2014 - 7:10pm
Show previous 9 comments
sbrown's picture
sbrown

I'm sure others will have more informed ideas, but rummaging around I found that Pitsco makes a variety of different models of solar car. More interesting (to me) was that they sold the parts in bulk for classroom use. I'd just never really considered how good an idea that seemed to be. :) This is a link to their amazon page as a whole, but you'll see the cars/car part sets easily. http://amzn.to/1lZBZ4J

Jul 30 2014 - 7:59pm
randallshinn's picture
randallshinn

Thanks!

Jul 30 2014 - 8:13pm
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

@randallshinn check this two links. This kits are under $20 and include all the parts necessary for the build. (additional cuttings tools may be required)
http://www.hometrainingtools.com/solar-race-car-kit/p/KT-CARKIT4/
http://www.bonanza.com/listings/Solar-car-Kit-with-PCB-Drill-6-Drill-bit...

Aug 1 2014 - 11:53am
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

@randallshinn I think this option might be a better fit for your request.
http://www.pitsco.com/Ray_Catcher_Consumable_Packs

Aug 1 2014 - 11:57am
sbrown's picture
sbrown

Nice, that's the one I was looking at. Just didn't have the panels. I even found a couple under-$10 cars, but they weren't really build-able in the traditional sense.

Aug 1 2014 - 12:58pm
randallshinn's picture
randallshinn

Thanks and that's awesome!!

Aug 1 2014 - 2:15pm
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

Glad you liked it. Let me know if you need anything else.

Aug 1 2014 - 2:17pm
randallshinn's picture
randallshinn

Thanks again! I was able to find the parts that I need for this upcoming project

Aug 7 2014 - 6:20am
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

Aloha @beckymoylan and @gloui, in this thread you can find some of our suggestion to a teacher request on solar car parts and suppliers. Let me know if you have any questions. I hope this help for your future projects!

Aug 21 2014 - 3:24pm
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

@randallshinn I thought this could help you for your field trip idea or lesson request.

Jul 29 2014 - 4:15pm
randallshinn's picture
randallshinn

Thanks but I was not able to open the attachment.

Jul 30 2014 - 7:08pm
sbrown's picture
sbrown

Give this link a whirl whilst I figure out what the deal is!! http://bit.ly/1qqdSPv

Jul 30 2014 - 8:12pm
randallshinn's picture
randallshinn

thanks!

Jul 30 2014 - 8:13pm
pyerxa's picture
pyerxa

@edwinjcolon

Document Credit: I created them from the HCPS III website
Jul 24 2014 - 2:55pm
pyerxa's picture
pyerxa

see comment on leaf below that goes with this document

Jul 24 2014 - 2:56pm
edwinjcolon's picture
edwinjcolon

@pyerxa are this the standards you want to meet during this year? Do you want the project to address this standards?

Jul 24 2014 - 5:00pm