Senator Inouye Visits New Science Lab

Molokai High School students get state- of- the-art facilities.

By Catherine Cluett

Those who take interest in science classes at Molokai High School (MHS) were rewarded with the chance of meeting Senator Inouye last Tuesday during the blessing of a new mobile science lab gifted to the school. Students and teachers participating in the program demo-ed the $50,000 equipment and technology for their distinguished guests.

In addition to providing state-of-the-art facilities for exploring the realms of chemistry, physics and biology, the mobile science lab offers students a chance to conduct labs that might otherwise be too dangerous or expensive, says MHS science teacher Lee DeRouin.

When Molokai High and Middle Schools split into separate schools, the science lab facilities remained a part of the Middle School, leaving High School students to walk to the neighboring labs, said MHS Principal Linda Puleloa.

That’s where a program called Hawaii 3R’s comes in. Hawaii 3R’s was established by U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye in 2001 to provide better and safer learning environments for Hawaii Public school students. The three R’s stand for Repair, Remodel, Restore, and the program accomplishes these goals by bringing together outside financial and human resources to perform construction and needed maintenance jobs that would otherwise be delayed by the backlog of the normal State process.

“The Department of Education has a project planned to construct new lab classrooms in Molokai High School, but construction is several years away,” states a press release from Hawaii 3R’s. In light of MHS’s lack of adequate science facilities, Hawaii 3R’s administrators decided to step in.

On the surface, the mobile science lab is nothing to look at. It’s not a spaceship-style contraption or a jungle of pipettes or electrical wires. It’s more of a concept. The curriculum and accompanying technology and materials are what make this lab program so unique. Lessons usually feature slide show presentations projected for the class, and students can follow along on their laptop computers.

Thanks to computer programming, some labs will utilize virtual options like a Bunsen burner on students’ laptops, while others allow students to experience real lab set-ups hands-on.  “This will give students the opportunity to do more experiments than they would even with a normal science lab,” says Stephanie Stanley, a science teacher at the school.

With instant lesson corrections and easy transfer of materials between classrooms, teachers, too, have something to be excited about. The curriculum’s use of laptops allows for classroom collaboration and immediate and effective feedback on coursework.

Teachers can program each lesson with a variety of settings to best serve their students and teaching style. For example, one program feature offers questions on the lesson written in the same style as students would encounter on standardized tests like SAT’s. Students are equipped with remote handheld devices that allow them to select answers anonymously if desired. In addition, the program can provide other test-taking preparations like monitoring which areas each student shows weakness in for additional review.

The mobile lab is funded jointly by Hawaii 3R’s and Kamehameha Schools. “We’re very excited to collaborate with Hawaii 3R’s and the Department of Education on this innovative project,” said Chris Pating, Kamehameha Schools Vice President for Strategic Planning and Implementation. “The science lab provides the students of Molokai with additional educational resources. Kamehameha is proud to serve these haumana and their ohana.”

“I can’t tell you how proud we are to be part of this today,” said Ann Botticelli, Vice President for Community Relations & Communications at Kamehameha Schools. “We are deeply grateful and honored to be able to support what’s going on here at Molokai High School.”

Senator Inouye added a touch of the personal to his remarks, explaining how he and his late wife, Maggie, who had been deeply involved in education, raised about $25 million for school improvements, beginning the Hawaii 3R’s program.

“I must commend you on what you are doing here,” he told MHS students. “One day I expect to greet at least one of you as Doctor,” he said. “Keep up the good work, we’re very proud of you.”

Tad Davis, Department of Defense Deputy Secretary of Environmental Safety and Occupational Health, was another guest at the event. He explained to the “budding scientist” students some of the ways in which the U.S. military is involved in the nation’s push toward sustainable energy and environmental consciousness. These include innovative designs for turning everything “green” – vehicles, buildings, and engineering techniques, to name a few. “We’re finding ways to do more with less,” he said. “As you can tell, I’m pretty enthusiastic when it comes to science for the future.”

Davis was accompanied by several other representatives of the U.S. military, as well as members of the Army Corps of the Engineers.

“I’d venture to say that by the end of the year, these kids will be up front and the teachers will be sitting at the tables,” laughed Puleloa. “This curriculum will prepare kids for the 21st century.”

Colton Manley, Vice President of the Student Body, and Jerome Clemente, Correspondent Secretary, offered the blessing event’s closing words and thanks from MHS students.

After the blessing performed by Molokai resident Anna Lou Arakaki, guests were given a tour of the school’s Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) program. The nation-wide program offers the students of involved schools the opportunity to utilize hardware and software that allows them to explore state of the art technologies that prepare them to be creative thinkers and designers.

EAST is also paired with Women in Technology, another program offered by MHS. Students demonstrated skills such as house design using 3D modeling programs, and GPS mapping programs that allow students to use the highest technology with real-world applications.

The EAST program is also available at the Middle School, and is made possible by a collaboration with the Molokai Chamber of Commerce. Students also design banners, cups, t-shirts that are sold as fundraisers.

“Students in the EAST program are very individually driven and motivated,” says MHS fine arts teacher Perry Buchalter.

“The graduation rate of Molokai High School of over 95% is stunning,” said Senator Inouye. “It shows what community can do. I don’t know of any school on Oahu with a record like that.”
Those who take interest in science classes at Molokai High School (MHS) were rewarded with the chance of meeting Senator Inouye last Tuesday during the blessing of a new mobile science lab gifted to the school. Students and teachers participating in the program demo-ed the $50,000 equipment and technology for their distinguished guests.

In addition to providing state-of-the-art facilities for exploring the realms of chemistry, physics and biology, the mobile science lab offers students a chance to conduct labs that might otherwise be too dangerous or expensive, says MHS science teacher Lee DeRouin.

When Molokai High and Middle Schools split into separate schools, the science lab facilities remained a part of the Middle School, leaving High School students to walk to the neighboring labs, said MHS Principal Linda Puleloa.

That’s where a program called Hawaii 3R’s comes in. Hawaii 3R’s was established by U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye in 2001 to provide better and safer learning environments for Hawaii Public school students. The three R’s stand for Repair, Remodel, Restore, and the program accomplishes these goals by bringing together outside financial and human resources to perform construction and needed maintenance jobs that would otherwise be delayed by the backlog of the normal State process.

“The Department of Education has a project planned to construct new lab classrooms in Molokai High School, but construction is several years away,” states a press release from Hawaii 3R’s. In light of MHS’s lack of adequate science facilities, Hawaii 3R’s administrators decided to step in.

On the surface, the mobile science lab is nothing to look at. It’s not a spaceship-style contraption or a jungle of pipettes or electrical wires. It’s more of a concept. The curriculum and accompanying technology and materials are what make this lab program so unique. Lessons usually feature slide show presentations projected for the class, and students can follow along on their laptop computers.

Thanks to computer programming, some labs will utilize virtual options like a Bunsen burner on students’ laptops, while others allow students to experience real lab set-ups hands-on.  “This will give students the opportunity to do more experiments than they would even with a normal science lab,” says Stephanie Stanley, a science teacher at the school.

With instant lesson corrections and easy transfer of materials between classrooms, teachers, too, have something to be excited about. The curriculum’s use of laptops allows for classroom collaboration and immediate and effective feedback on coursework.

Teachers can program each lesson with a variety of settings to best serve their students and teaching style. For example, one program feature offers questions on the lesson written in the same style as students would encounter on standardized tests like SAT’s. Students are equipped with remote handheld devices that allow them to select answers anonymously if desired. In addition, the program can provide other test-taking preparations like monitoring which areas each student shows weakness in for additional review.

The mobile lab is funded jointly by Hawaii 3R’s and Kamehameha Schools. “We’re very excited to collaborate with Hawaii 3R’s and the Department of Education on this innovative project,” said Chris Pating, Kamehameha Schools Vice President for Strategic Planning and Implementation. “The science lab provides the students of Molokai with additional educational resources. Kamehameha is proud to serve these haumana and their ohana.”

“I can’t tell you how proud we are to be part of this today,” said Ann Botticelli, Vice President for Community Relations & Communications at Kamehameha Schools. “We are deeply grateful and honored to be able to support what’s going on here at Molokai High School.”

Senator Inouye added a touch of the personal to his remarks, explaining how he and his late wife, Maggie, who had been deeply involved in education, raised about $25 million for school improvements, beginning the Hawaii 3R’s program.

“I must commend you on what you are doing here,” he told MHS students. “One day I expect to greet at least one of you as Doctor,” he said. “Keep up the good work, we’re very proud of you.”

Tad Davis, Department of Defense Deputy Secretary of Environmental Safety and Occupational Health, was another guest at the event. He explained to the “budding scientist” students some of the ways in which the U.S. military is involved in the nation’s push toward sustainable energy and environmental consciousness. These include innovative designs for turning everything “green” – vehicles, buildings, and engineering techniques, to name a few. “We’re finding ways to do more with less,” he said. “As you can tell, I’m pretty enthusiastic when it comes to science for the future.”

Davis was accompanied by several other representatives of the U.S. military, as well as members of the Army Corps of the Engineers.

“I’d venture to say that by the end of the year, these kids will be up front and the teachers will be sitting at the tables,” laughed Puleloa. “This curriculum will prepare kids for the 21st century.”

Colton Manley, Vice President of the Student Body, and Jerome Clemente, Correspondent Secretary, offered the blessing event’s closing words and thanks from MHS students.

After the blessing performed by Molokai resident Anna Lou Arakaki, guests were given a tour of the school’s Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) program. The nation-wide program offers the students of involved schools the opportunity to utilize hardware and software that allows them to explore state of the art technologies that prepare them to be creative thinkers and designers.

EAST is also paired with Women in Technology, another program offered by MHS. Students demonstrated skills such as house design using 3D modeling programs, and GPS mapping programs that allow students to use the highest technology with real-world applications.

The EAST program is also available at the Middle School, and is made possible by a collaboration with the Molokai Chamber of Commerce. Students also design banners, cups, t-shirts that are sold as fundraisers.

“Students in the EAST program are very individually driven and motivated,” says MHS fine arts teacher Perry Buchalter.

“The graduation rate of Molokai High School of over 95% is stunning,” said Senator Inouye. “It shows what community can do. I don’t know of any school on Oahu with a record like that.”

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