Education

Niu Valley playground gets $15,000 online boost

Last week, non-profit group KaBoom! and Let’s Play, a community sponsorship program led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, announced that NiuValleyPlayground.com had won $15,000 in a social media contest, competing against 50 other communities around the country by garnering the top five votes on a Facebook page. “Hawaii has again shown that it has a vibrant social media network that will flex its muscle to get behind a good cause,” said Peter Kay, the Association’s Vice Chair. “This is not the first time that Hawaii’s online community has won an online contest and it’s gratifying that as a community, we can successfully compete at a national level.” NiuValleyPlayground.com is raising $100,000 to purchase playground equipment and is asking the community to visit their website to donate an online contribution. [...]

PBS Hawaii wins $5 million grant for new studios

Hawaii’s only public television station today announced that The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation has awarded PBS Hawaii a $5 million grant to help the organization build a new home in Honolulu. The educational nonprofit organization has an urgent need for a new facility because it is losing its lease at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where it has occupied space for more than 40 years. PBS Hawaii’s future home, located along Nimitz Highway at 315 Sand Island Access Road, will be named The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus. PBS Hawaii will renovate and expand an existing one-story building on the site and re-locate operations in 2014. The site, purchased in January 2009, formerly housed the KFVE Newsplex. “The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation wants to see public television survive and thrive for the sake of future generations of Islanders,” said foundation trustee Kenneth Okamoto. [...]

Public schools eligible for $5,000 beautification awards

Three $5,000 awards from the Cooke Foundation are currently available to Hawaii public schools with completed beautification projects. The Cooke Foundation will present three $5,000 awards — one elementary school, one middle school and one high school — that have completed projects that beautify their school environment and significantly enhance the school’s overall appearance and ambiance. All public schools, including charter schools, in the state are eligible to apply. “A beautiful environment at school is conducive to learning and encourages respect for one’s school, respect for others and respect for oneself,” said Lynne Johnson, Cooke Foundation trustee. [...]

Geek Squad Summer Academy coming to Honolulu

National tech support task force Geek Squad continues its quest to demystify technology, this time empowering Honolulu area elementary, middle and high-school level girls and boys for the first time. Geek Squad Summer Academy is a community-sponsored event from Best Buy, during which local Geek Squad Agents join forces with H5-Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope to engage local youth in a multi-day experience to ignite their passion for technology and inspire them to pursue careers in technology. In addition to the camp in Honolulu and other cities nationwide, Geek Squad Summer Academy this year will add five sessions on military bases around the country as part of its support to the White House’s Joining Forces initiative. [...]

Hawaii withdraws from Solar Decathlon

Despite months of planning, public outreach, and fundraising for an international competition in Washington D.C., “Team Hawaii” from the University of Hawaii has withdrawn from the event. The UH Solar Decathlon team Executive Committee, which includes participating students and members from Honolulu Community College and UH Mānoa, decided that the timing and financial challenges were too large to risk further investment without the guaranteed delivery of the house at this year’s competition. [...]

Hawaii, NASA expand space exploration partnership

NASA and the State of Hawai’i have agreed to collaborate on a wide range of activities to promote America’s human and robotic exploration of space. The partnership also will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs. Governor Neil Abercrombie and NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Rebecca Keiser signed a two-year agreement, formally called a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement Annex, during a ceremony today in the Governor’s Office. [...]

Hawaii students to build, play ukulele

Children on the island of Lanai will soon build and strum their own ukuleles and Hawaiian lap steel guitars, courtesy the Lanai Art Center and Waianu’s Hale Kuai of Honolulu. The ‘O Ka La Na‘i Nui program, to be held at the Lanai Art Center during the second week of August, will engage fourth and sixth graders in hands-on workshops that promote Hawaiian culture and encourage students to pursue vocational opportunities in Hawaii. [...]

UH to study vog forecasting

A feasibility study to determine if vog forecasts are achievable and useful is being made available to the public through a new website hosted by the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. The website is a product of the Vog Measurement and Prediction (VMAP) project. Principal investigator for the VMAP project is Steven Businger, who along with lead vog modeler Roy Huff are members of UH Mānoa’s Department of Meteorology. [...]

Hawaii robotics students win Tokyo tournament

An alliance of Waialua High and Waiakea High Schools won the 2nd Annual American School in Japan VEX Robotics Tournament held today in Tokyo, hosted by the American School in Japan. Two teams of students and coaches from Waialua, Oahu, three teams from Waiakea and one team from Kohala, Big Island, competed against teams from Tokyo, Yokohama, Taiwan and Thailand. Waialua High School also won the Best Build award. [...]

PREL launches reading game

Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL), in collaboration with Mentor Interactive, has released Cosmos Chaos! an educational game for the Nintendo DS console that targets vocabulary learning in science, social studies and mathematics. Resulting from a U.S. Department of Education grant focused on the development, delivery, and evaluation of a supplemental vocabulary instructional game for Nintendo DS, this digital game-based vocabulary enrichment program is designed to increase 4th grade struggling readers’ word knowledge and use of word learning strategies to help improve comprehension. [...]

HPU appoints new trustees

Hawai‘i Pacific University officials voted in James Polk, Michele Saito and Stephanie Saito to the University’s Board of Trustees on Oct. 22. James Polk is a senior executive vice president and manager at Bank of Hawaii in the Hawaii Commercial Banking Division. Michele Saito is the president of Farmers Insurance Hawaii, Inc. Stephanie Saito is the executive vice president of Bank of Hawaii. [...]

New director to lead Institute for Astronomy in 2011

Günther Hasinger, an expert in astrophysical studies whose work has been instrumental in the operation of x-ray satellites and the development of future observatories, has been appointed director of the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) at UH Mānoa, effective January 2, 2011. Hasinger is currently the scientific director at the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching, near Munich, Germany. [...]