STEM Pre-Academy

Welcome to STEM Pre-Academy!

STEM Pre-Academy fosters inspiration and relevance in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through collaborative interaction between middle school teachers, university researchers and subject matter experts. Multidisciplinary interaction takes place in the form of teacher workshops, technical support and tools, and is driven by teacher inquiry and need. This statewide program helps educators in Hawai‘i’s public middle schools develop research-inspired technologies and processes and implement them in student curriculum and activities.

STEM Pre-Academy provides similar collaborative educational experiences that enable University of Hawai‘i research students to interact with Hawai‘i teachers and students in the classroom, in the field, and through online participation.

Through its projects and partnerships, STEM Pre-Academy introduces teachers to STEM research, technology, and innovation—supplying their students with the inspiration to consider technology and educational workforce possibilities in their future careers.

Cosmic Rays

A Cosmic Addition to Our Website!

2017 was a exciting year for collaboration with Dr. Veronica Bindi, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. We kicked off the partnership with a hosted presentation by Dr. Bindi for students and teachers entitled, When is the Best Time to Send Astronauts to Mars? We kept the collaboration going with a research-inspired project to design and build a low-cost particle detector that will, when complete, be an excellent hands-on resource for teachers and students.

We're happy to announce some fantastic resources available now on our online Space Particle Group Outreach pages. You'll find edited videos of the When is the Best Time to Send Astronauts to Mars? presentation, as well as a wealth of other materials and resources related to Dr. Bindi's exciting work.

Please check it out, and stay tuned for a bunch more exciting updates!

Research and Engineering Design Skills Clinic Featured!

RED Clinic

The October, 2017 Research and Engineering Design Skills Clinic for Students and Teachers (RED) event has been featured in the University of Hawai‘i news!

Check it out!

(And also have a look at the video trailer that was produced!)

Julie Segawa

Diving Deeper - A Teacher’s Experience with C-MORE Science Kits in the Classroom with Julia Segawa

As an 8th grade Earth and Space Science teacher, Julia Segawa enjoys “watching science come alive through hands-on, content-related activities.” Julia is the Stevenson Middle School host for the STEM Pre-Academy C-MORE Science Kits, and uses the kits to supplement her curriculum throughout the year. Read more...

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality - Ready, Set, Go!

Virtual reality and augmented reality are on the rise in classrooms. Here's a primer on getting started. Read more...

New Technology in a Traditional Art Class

Kapa‘a Middle School Art teacher Julia Sanderl shares her experience using a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 in a traditional art class. Read more...

Thoughts on Chromebooks with Logan Newbill

We caught up with Kapa‘a Middle School teacher Thomas “Logan” Newbill recently and asked if he would share his thoughts on Google Chromebook in the classroom. Read more...

Teachers Get Schooled!

On June 22 and 23, 2015, a workshop on the Engineering Design Process in middle schools was held at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Organized by the Hawaii Department of Education, the Office of Naval Research Project and Educational Leadership Program at Chaminade University, and STEM Pre-Academy, the workshop focused on giving teachers a solid foundation for implementing the Engineering Design Process in their classes. Read more...

Visit the new miniblog on Mobile Devices - Mobile Learning!

We've kicked off a new miniblog on this site and hope you’ll join the online conversation to learn more about the various mobile devices that are now inundating the consumer market and some of which are now being used in the classroom.

Nutrition Researcher Speaks to PE Classes

When science and engineering principles collide, the result can be quite practical with far-reaching effect as students at Jarrett Middle School learned in October from UH Jahren Geobiology Laboratory Research Technician, Josh Bostic.

Josh gave a great presentation to 3 PE classes at Jarrett Middle School on the science behind added sugars in the standard American diet. The students learned that making healthy food choices now will help keep their bodies healthy and free of chronic diseases in the future.

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.

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.

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.

The Leaves

thayamichi's picture

I would like to borrow a spectrophotometer from our office inventory if available and wonder any resources on DNA quantitative method using a spectrophotometer on your side.
Thank you

Dec 4 2018 - 3:05pm

caroline.wood's picture

Aloha @thayamichi,

Thanks for reaching out—it's always wonderful to hear from you! We absolutely have a spectrophotometer for you to borrow, and we'll pull together some literature and resources for quantitatively measuring DNA and RNA. I'll follow up with you.



Dec 4 2018 - 7:56pm
sasakidy's picture

Hi Randy,

The attached PDF is a great resource with detailed teacher instruction on how to build a DC (Direct Current) motor from the Ohio State University - K-12 ECE (Electrical and Computer Engineering) Outreach Program.

The material includes basic concepts of electromagnetism and connects to NGSS standard MS-PS2-3 on electromagnets.

Dr. Anderson from Ohio State University designed the activity to be completed in a single class period and selected parts that can be purchased inexpensively so, students may keep them or the parts can be re-used for other students. Dr Anderson granted us permission and encourages to use their materials.

If you have any questions please let us know!

Davin and the Team

Document Credit: Professor Betty Lise Anderson, Ohio State University, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
randallshinn's picture

Good Afternoon,

We are looking for support or tips on teaching electromagnets to our students at Ewa Makai. We are planning an investigation for the following standard (MS-PS2-3) on electromagnets. We will be using the world simplest motor to get the students attention before having them ask questions. Would you have any other options that we could to enhance their understanding based on the standard?


thayamichi's picture

STEM Pre-Academy,
I would like to know if you have a sugar content measurement tool available at the office.

Oct 1 2018 - 12:38pm

caroline.wood's picture

Hi Tomo,

While we do have spectrometers and colorimeters, we don't actually have any handheld refractometers in our Lending Library. So sorry about that, but please let me know if I can help you find anything else!


Oct 1 2018 - 3:22pm
sasakidy's picture

Hi Randall. Thanks for the post. Let us get back to you shortly.

See the rest of the Leaves...