Hawaiian Electric recently donated $15,500 to Ke Kula ‘O Pi‘ilani to support the school’s innovative program that integrates modern science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with traditional Hawaiian knowledge and ‘āina-based learning.
Founded in 2016, Ke Kula ʻO Piʻilani is an independent nonprofit Hawaiian immersion elementary school located in ʻĪao Valley.
The donation will go towards the school’s Nā ʻImi Naʻauao: Seekers of Wisdom program to support an instructor position to design and facilitate additional culture-based STEM lessons and resources. Purchase of microscope kits, science lab equipment, and aquaponic, terrarium and aquarium systems will also be made with the funds.
“Mahalo to Hawaiian Electric for supporting our vision to increase integrated STEM learning hours to at least eight hours per week per grade level, in a variety of outdoor learning environments, and in a newly-outfitted science lab,” said Kekai Robinson, Po‘okula of Ke Kula ʻO Piʻilani. “Enhancing our culture-based STEM activities can inspire our community of learners to understand STEM concepts in the context of their lives and visualize themselves in future STEM-based careers.”
The school’s overall curriculum for kindergarten to Grade 5 weaves Hawaiian culture and language into every facet of the school to simultaneously honor ancient knowledge and tradition while preparing students to become the leaders of the next generation.