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Kaua‘i Community Science Center teaches 19 classrooms remotely

KOLOA — The Kaua‘i Community Science Center treated Koloa School students to a morning of discovery Friday during the nonprofit’s first-ever school-wide STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) Day.

The event included robotics and 3D-printing demonstrations, an art competition and two science projects, all live-streamed from the school cafeteria due to COVID-19 safety measures.

All 347 of Koloa School’s students followed along in real-time from 19 separate classrooms.

Principal Leila Kobayashi said the program underscored the real-world applications of science.

“There’s so much in science that kids don’t know about. They just think science is the thing that they do in the afternoon in their classroom,” Kobayashi said. “We wanted to show students that science is pretty much all around you.”

Students, with in-person help from their teachers, balanced popsicle sticks on their fingertips, using pipe cleaners and washers as counterweights.

They also made bubbles, using strings and straws to make a frame dipped in a soapy solution.

KCSC based STEAM Day on its established after-school program, Virtual STEAM Night.

“It’s usually around 80 students, but this was a full school … so, a whole ‘nother scale,” KCSC founder Sarah Styan said.

Styan was joined Friday by four KCSC interns, including Waimea High School sophomore Joveline Alvarez, who delivered the day’s robotics demonstration.

Alvarez has built robots since she was in middle school on Moloka‘i. She was excited to introduce her passion to other, younger students on STEAM Day.

“I feel like a lot of kids are interested in engineering. They’re so smart and they know the basic information already,” she said. “This gives them a boost.”

Constructive Visions

KCSC is looking for students interested in joining The Constructive Visions Project, a curriculum created by an international group of National Geographic Explorers interested in COVID-19’s impact on human society’s relationship with nature.

“They wondered: How would the world look a few years from now if our positive changes in behavior were maintained in the long run?” a press release stated. “They compiled a book of stories to paint a vision of realistic hope for a future where we can do better.”

The Kaua‘i group is one of 30 organizations across 23 countries aligned with the project, open to students ages 12 and older.

According to Styan, her student team will select three Constructive Visions chapters for review, and then develop a project based on their readings.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this global project that gives Kaua‘i students a chance to share their perspective with the rest of the world and also learn from other students and partner organizations all around the world,” Styan said in a release. “Not to mention the opportunity to meet some National Geographic Explorers who are all involved with amazing work around the globe.”

The project is free and will run through May of 2022. A meeting schedule will be determined based on participants’ availability and location.

To register online, see kauaicsc.org/kcsc-constructive-visions.

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Scott Yunker, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or syunker@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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