Funding source: Office of Naval Research
Project objective: to provide “stepped down” support for grades K-5 teachers and students at two public elementary schools in Honolulu
The Sustaining Engineering Education in the Elementary Schools (SEEES) Project is a one year project (2013-2014) to provide “stepped down” support for grades K-5 teachers and students at two public elementary schools in Honolulu.
The schools are Ke Kula Kaiapuni `O Anuenue (K-12 public Hawaiian immersion school) and Palolo Elementary School. Both schools had been selected because of their high Hawaiian and Micronesian student populations and were involved in the ONR-funded Technology Enhanced Sustainable Aina Project (TESAP) which was funded for two years (2011-2013).
The TESAP focused on having all Grades K-5 teachers and students learn the engineering design process (EDP) and authentically apply the EDP to design creative solutions for design challenges which focused on sustainability issues of our island state.
The Project Director worked with the schools throughout the SEEES Project to build the requisite infrastructure to sustain the TESAP initiative by:
Ensuring that funding support for the initiative was included in both schools’ Academic/Financial Plans
Requiring the schools to take on the responsibility to plan and implement their Engineering Days
Having the grade level teachers develop additional engineering design challenge units with minimal assistance
The Project Director did provide feedback and recommendations for improvement to the teachers.
The goals addressed by the SEEES Project are listed below:
- Ensure that the Grades K-5 students are actively and consistently involved in rigorous engineering design challenges;
- Increase student, parent, and teacher interest in STEM;
- Increase student confidence in STEM;
- Increase students’ and teachers’ awareness of careers and the types of engineers employed by the Navy;
- Involve Navy engineers and technicians in project-related activities.
Students at Palolo Elementary School in Honolulu, Hawaii, share their science projects with Dr. Richard Carlin, head, Sea Warfare and Weapons Department at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Katherine Kawaguchi, director ONR project and educational leadership program at Chaminade University, during a visit to discuss the Asia Pacific Technology and Education Program (APTEP). (U.S. Navy photos by John F. Williams/Released)