12 Hawaii Schools Receive Funding to Implement New STEM Education Programs

Twelve Hawaii schools will be able to expand science, math, engineering and technology education for their students as the first recipients in a multi-year, $2.2 million grant program to increase students’ readiness for college and careers.

Keaau High School was one of the recipients.

Keaau High School was one of the recipients.

Gov. David Ige announced the initiative in January in partnership with Project Lead The Way and USA Funds as part of an effort to build the state’s innovation economy and workforce.

The funding enables each school to implement PLTW high school programs in PLTW’s computer science, engineering and biomedical science pathways. Grant funds cover expenses such as program fees, teacher training at the University of Hawaii – West Oahu, and classroom equipment and supplies. PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers across all 50 states. USA Funds is providing a $2.2 million grant to support the program.

“We are extremely grateful to USA Funds for making it possible for schools in Hawaii to implement PLTW’s programs,” said Rex Bolinger, senior vice president and chief development officer. “PLTW programs empower students to develop the knowledge and transportable skills they need to thrive in our advancing, high-tech economy.”

The 12 schools selected to begin PLTW’s programs are:

  • Aiea High School, Oahu
  • Honokaa High School, Hawaii
  • Island Pacific Academy, Oahu
  • James Campbell High School, Oahu
  • Kalaheo High School, Oahu
  • Kalani High School, Oahu
  • Kapolei High School, Oahu
  • Keaau High School, Hawaii
  • Lanai High and Elementary School, Lanai
  • Maui Preparatory Academy, Maui
  • Mililani High School, Oahu
  • Nanakuli High and Intermediate, Oahu

Lanelle Hibbs, superintendent of the Kailua Kalaheo Complex Area, said the grant and opportunity to implement PLTW Engineering will mean significant benefits for the students of Kalaheo High School. “The students will be engaged in the engineering process and the concepts of quality workmanship, safe practices, problem solving, positive work habits, and to the concept of teamwork,” Hibbs said. “They will also be introduced to the wide range of available career opportunities and given the experiences to go along with them. Kalaheo students will have a rigorous and relevant curriculum to prepare them for life after high school.”

By 2017, Hawaii is projected to need 16,000 more workers with STEM skills each year, but the state currently ranks 47th in the number of STEM-related degrees awarded per 100,000 residents.

“Students on Oahu face the same job market and economy as the rest of the country, and having a deeper set of STEM skills will give them an advantage both in college acceptance and in job readiness,” said Tom Falenofoa, technology coordinator at Mililani High School. “Hawaii is currently trying to attract high tech industries, and having a strong community of people with those skill sets will help to encourage that.”

Dozens of additional Hawaii high schools will have the opportunity to implement PLTW programs. PLTW will open a second round of grant requests from Hawaii schools this fall.

“We look forward to thousands of additional students being prepared for high-paying jobs in high-demand STEM fields in Hawaii’s growing innovation economy,” said Carol D’Amico, USA Funds executive vice president, National Engagement and Philanthropy. “USA Funds is delighted to partner with Project Lead The Way, the nation’s leader in preparing students for STEM careers, to expand STEM education and employment while advancing economic development in Hawaii.”

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in- demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. More than 8,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.

USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a Purpose, building a more purposeful path for America’s students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives. USA Funds pursues its nonprofit mission through philanthropic activities and partnerships, policy research, and programs and services that enhance preparation for, access to and success in higher education. Learn more at www.usafunds.org.

Hawaii Chief Justice Seeks Public Comment on Judicial Nominees

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald announced today that he is seeking public comment on judicial nominees for a vacancy in the District Court of the Third Circuit (Island of Hawaii) as a result of the upcoming retirement of the Honorable Barbara T. Takase.

Judge Barbara T. Takase

Judge Barbara T. Takase

The names submitted for this vacancy by the Judicial Selection Commission, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Kevin S. Hashizaki
  • Peter K. Kubota
  • Michelle K. Laubach
  • Laureen L. Martin
  • Darien W.L.C. Nagata
  • Jeffrey W.S. Ng

Because the Chief Justice has the discretion to assign judges to the district or district family court calendar, comments about the qualifications and character of any of the nominees with regard to either calendar assignment may be sent, in writing, to:

Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald
Supreme Court of Hawaii
417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI  96813

Fax: 808-539-4703
Email: chiefjustice@courts.hawaii.gov

Comments must be post-marked, emailed, faxed, or hand delivered no later than Monday, March 28, 2016.  All comments will be kept confidential.

The individual selected by the Chief Justice is subject to Senate confirmation.

Two Hawaii-Based Navy Commands Advance to Win Secretary of Navy Environmental Awards

Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) are winners of the 2015 Secretary of the Navy Environmental Award.  Awardees were announced Friday, March 11, 2016 in Washington D.C..

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following an independent deployment to the Western Pacific. Deployed since May, the crew of more than 350 Sailors steamed a total of 42,000 nautical miles across the U.S. 3rd, 4th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. While deployed Chafee conducted various theater security operations and goodwill activities with partner nations. Chafee also escorted USS George Washington (CVN 73) during a Southern Sea deployment around South America and through the Straits of Magellan before the carrier's return to Norfolk, Va., this month. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist John M. Hageman/Released)

The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) returns to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam following an independent deployment to the Western Pacific. Deployed since May, the crew of more than 350 Sailors steamed a total of 42,000 nautical miles across the U.S. 3rd, 4th and 7th Fleet areas of operation. While deployed Chafee conducted various theater security operations and goodwill activities with partner nations. Chafee also escorted USS George Washington (CVN 73) during a Southern Sea deployment around South America and through the Straits of Magellan before the carrier’s return to Norfolk, Va., this month. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist John M. Hageman/Released)

PMRF, Barking Sands, on Kauai won the award for Natural Resources (small installation) and USS Chafee (DDG 90) homeported at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam won the Afloat Environmental Award.

Both PMRF and USS Chafee were recently awarded with Chief of Naval Operations Environmental Awards on Feb. 22 which qualified them to advance, compete and win at the Secretary of the Navy Award level.

“These awards are the latest in a string of recognition that gives credence to our commitment to be good and caring stewards of the environment,” said Rear Adm. John Fuller, commander of Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “I congratulate the men and women at PMRF and aboard USS Chafee, and I salute everyone on our team here in Hawaii – You are making a difference.”

PMRF works with federal and state agencies, schools, conservation organizations, the public and the host community to implement groundbreaking initiatives towards conservation, environmental protection and the protection of endangered species.  Initiatives include but are not limited to the Laysan Albatross Conservation program in which PMRF transfers Albatross eggs to Campbell National Wildlife refuge on Oahu providing new shelter and reducing the risk of aircraft strikes.

KAUAI, Hawaii (Oct. 27 2015) A member of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) environmental program at Pacific Missile Range (PMRF) Facility, Barking Sands on Kauai, starts up the ornithology radar used to keep track of flight patterns of the Newell’s Shearwater. The Newell’s Shearwater, an endangered pelagic seabird, leaves its nest on Kauai to the open ocean during the darkest nights. PMRF is implementing new programs such as the Dark Skies Program along with the use of radar ornithology to assist with ongoing conservation efforts and improve the birds’ chances of safely making it to sea. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gabrielle Joyner/released)

KAUAI, Hawaii (Oct. 27 2015) A member of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) environmental program at Pacific Missile Range (PMRF) Facility, Barking Sands on Kauai, starts up the ornithology radar used to keep track of flight patterns of the Newell’s Shearwater. The Newell’s Shearwater, an endangered pelagic seabird, leaves its nest on Kauai to the open ocean during the darkest nights. PMRF is implementing new programs such as the Dark Skies Program along with the use of radar ornithology to assist with ongoing conservation efforts and improve the birds’ chances of safely making it to sea. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Gabrielle Joyner/released)

The “Dark Sky” initiative, which directs the turning off of all non-essential exterior lighting on PMRF during the Newell Shearwater, Hawaiian and Band-Rumped Storm Petrel migration season, has reduced “fallout” by these endangered birds that are naturally attracted to light.

“Although the accolades are nice, I am much more satisfied knowing that the entire PMRF Ohana takes their kuleana (responsibility) seriously.  Respecting and protecting the aina (land) while running the premier training and test range is not just what we do, it is who we are,” said Capt. Bruce Hay, Commanding Officer, PMRF.

Environmental protection and energy conservation were at the forefront of operations aboard USS Chafee in 2015, according to Cmdr. Shea Thompson, Chafee’s commanding officer.

“We’re all thrilled to have been selected for this award. We strive for efficiency in all aspects of our war-fighting operations and to be good stewards of our environment,” said Thompson.

USS Chafee transited more than 37,000 miles on a seven-month deployment to the 3rd, 4th, and 7th Fleet Areas of Responsibility during 2015 while participating in the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative, Talisman Sabre 15, UNITAS PAC 15, and UNITAS LANT 15.  USS Chafee conducted all operations with no impact to marine mammals and with safe and clean refueling operations.

Both Chafee and PMRF have been involved in Great Green Fleet operations in recent years, and both commands continue to support energy conservation and environmental stewardship.

Hawaii Man Charged with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person

Attorney General Doug Chin announced today that Lawrence Paul Miguel has been charged with four counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent person.

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Mr. Miguel was a staff member at the Responsive Caregivers of Hawaii, Adult Daycare Program. The allegation against him is that on June 11, 2014 he manhandled two different clients in two separate events. The charges allege that Mr. Miguel bent the first victim’s wrist backwards before grabbing him by the shirt and forcing him into the wall. The charges further allege that the second victim was forced to the ground, straddled, and choked for removing a sandwich from a locker. Both victims are afflicted with profound intellectual disabilities and as a result are unable to communicate. Both incidents were observed by an eyewitness who intervened immediately.

Attorney General Chin said “Mr. Miguel was supposed to help these people, not hurt them. This Department will prosecute anyone who takes advantage of his position to harm those most in need of our assistance.”

The charges against Mr. Miguel are brought under section 709-905 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). A conviction for these charges is a misdemeanor that carries with it a sentence of up to one year in jail pursuant to HRS section 706-663.

Mr. Miguel is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.