Public Schools Shine During Computer Science Education Week Festivities

Schools across the state joined nationwide celebrations of Computer Science Education with more than 170 events over the past week – from an Hour of Code at Kailua Elementary to a family friendly event hosted by Daniel K. Inouye Elementary that featured coding activities, robot obstacle courses and much more.

Schools across the state joined nationwide celebrations of Computer Science Education.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

“It’s wonderful to see students and teachers get excited about Computer Science education, not just during this Computer Science Education Week but year-round,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “We’ve been working on advancing Computer Science curriculum as part of our Strategic Plan. We look forward to presenting our plans before the Board of Education on implementation across cross-disciplinary fields such as Math, Science, STEM, Advanced Placement and Career and Technical Education.”

In support of the Department’s efforts in developing rigorous K-12 computer science standards, Governor David Ige yesterday added his name along with other governors to the Governors Partnership for K-12 Computer Science.

Computer science (CS) education is tied to the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) Strategic Plan and implementation strategies. Earlier this year, HIDOE’s Office of Curriculum Instruction and Student Support met with the Hawaii State Student Council to get their perspective on a CS education rollout effort.  The CS activities rolled out this week across the state is a reflection of the teacher collaboration taking place as well as raising opportunities for students to voice the importance of digital learning.

“We know that the workforce’s top jobs are in need of kids who are educated in computer science,” said Sarah Milianta-Laffin, seventh grade teacher, Ilima Intermediate. “If we’re going to get to that place, we have to get kids excited about it – we have to be their cheerleaders because we’re teaching them about a world that we haven’t been taught about ourselves.”

Many schools are incorporating courses in coding, which has been well received by students.

“Coding is a superpower,” explained Mitchell Togiai, seventh grader at Ilima Intermediate. “In the world that we live in today where technology is everywhere, it’s really important to learn how to code.”

Capping off CS Week

This evening, Superintendent Kishimoto and members of her leadership team will be attending a close out event – Momilani Elementary’s third annual CS for ALL Night. Due to the popularity of the annual festivity, the event is taking place at neighboring Pearl City High School. It will feature hands on activities connected to concepts in computer science such as computing systems, networks and the Internet, as well as algorithms and programming.

Big Island schools participating were:

  • Chiefess Kapiolani El
  • Honaunau El
  • Honokaa El
  • Kahakai El
  • Kealakehe El
  • Kealakehe High
  • Kealakehe Inter
  • Keaau El
  • Keonepoko El
  • Konawaena El
  • Mt. View El
  • Naalehu El
  • Waikoloa El & Middle
  • Waimea El

Approximately 600 Attend ‘Pearl Harbor Youth Day’

In remembrance of the Pearl Harbor attack 76 years ago, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor once again sponsored Pearl Harbor Youth Day, December 9, from 10 am – 2 pm with free admission for students up to age 18. Approximately 600 attended the event. This year’s theme, “Celebrating the Pearl Harbor Child” focused on those who witnessed the attack as children and lived through the war years in Hawaii.

Visitors heard first-person accounts from former Pearl Harbor children such as Dorinda Makanaonalani Nicholson, award-winning author. The new Mattel American Girl Doll “Nanea Mitchell,” based in part on Ms. Nicholson’s experiences, was featured through a variety of activities that provided insight into the lives of those who were in Hawaii during the 1940s. Two “Nanea” dolls were given away during the day, compliments of American Girl.

Other highlights included a scavenger hunt, swing dancing, the ever popular open cockpits of some of the Museum’s most iconic aircraft, machine shop riveting with “Rosie the Riveter,” lei making, hula lessons, and costumed interpreters representing historic characters.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in the winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Hawaii Public Schools Serve Local Grass-Fed Beef in December

This month, Hawaii public schools are serving locally raised, grass-fed beef in its hamburger patties. Elementary and middle school students will be served teri hamburger steak, while high school students will enjoy teri loco moco lunches.

High school students will enjoy teri loco moco lunches (pictured above), while elementary and middle school students will be served teri hamburger steak.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

This is part of the Hawaii State Department of Education’s (HIDOE) effort to include more fresh local agriculture in student meals. It is made possible through a joint partnership with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, the State Department of Agriculture, the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council.

“This is a great step forward in providing healthy options in our meal program and working with partners to make these opportunities possible,” said Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. “We appreciate the support of the Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council. Their partnership allows our students to understand the connection and importance of local agriculture.”

In 2015, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui spearheaded a partnership effort called, “Farm to School” (also known as ‘Aina Pono), with HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center to increase local food in school lunches using products from the local community.

The Farm to School Initiative addresses the supply and demand issues surrounding the purchasing of local food for our State school cafeterias. The Initiative also aims to systematically increase state purchasing of local food for our school menus as well as connect our keiki with the ‘āina (land) through their food, using products from the local agricultural community.

“This initiative is a major game-changer in the way we are feeding our kids in schools. Along with changing what our keiki eat, we are serving them food made with local, fresh ingredients,” said Lt. Governor Tsutsui. “This is a win-win for our students because they eat healthier, and for our farmers and ranchers because we are supporting our local agricultural industry.”

Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which HIDOE has now adopted as its own. In addition to school gardens, nutrition, agriculture, health and food education, ‘Aina Pono has expanded to include test kitchens, meal programs, menu planning and efforts to include more fresh local agriculture in student meals.