Maui News

Maui Preparatory Academy Gets Funds for Elementary Robotics

April 14, 2016, 2:24 PM HST
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Photo courtesy: Maui Preparatory Academy.

Photo courtesy: Maui Preparatory Academy.

Maui Preparatory Academy has been awarded $4,316 in funding from the MEDB Ke Alahele Fund and Toshiba America Foundation to implement a high-interest problem-based robotics program serving 40+ students in grades 3-5.

These students will receive daily instruction in integrated STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) activities with the goal of building interest and engagement in STEAM-related topics and challenges.

The program, entitled Robotics are Elementary, will combine coursework in mathematics, technology, and engineering with problem-based instruction in robotics construction and design.

The MEDB and Toshiba America Foundation grants will be used to purchase VEX IQ and other support equipment for use in 3-5 grade classrooms and during co-curricular activities; including VEX IQ Tournaments.

Maui Prep already provides a STEAM (STEM+Arts) integrated 6-12 academic program to the West Maui Community. School administrators say this program “pioneers the island’s first STEAM-inspired curriculum at the middle and high school level, and establishes Maui Prep at the forefront of what is a transformative educational movement.”

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The STEAM program incorporates lab-based, technology supported, and project-based activities that focus on fundamental STEAM concepts. Across content areas, students reportedly work collaboratively to solve problems using scientific, mathematical and/or design processes in interconnected ways. Students increasingly use technology as part of their ongoing instruction, providing access to a greater variety of learning materials and learning methods.

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School administrators commented saying, “The proposed expansion of STEAM programming to grades 3-5 will advance Maui Prep’s work over the past five years as one of Hawaiʻi’s leading Schools of the Future.”

The Robotics are Elementary program will provide learning opportunities that help students develop competence in science and technology concepts, and will give them opportunities to express that competence in open community forums. “Most importantly, this problem-based program will provide an especially powerful tool for building student interest and identity in STEAM-related fields,” school administrators said.

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