KS and UH partners involved in Project ʻOlonā and Hālau Pā collaborations come together at Mauna ‘Ala to launch the exciting, new three-year STEM initiative.
Partners from Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai‘i System recently came together to launch an exciting three-year Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) innovation and entrepreneurship collaboration.
Members of the partnership took part in a powerful and moving ceremony at Mauna ‘Ala, the final resting place of KS founder Ke Aliʻi Bernice Pauahi Bishop.
Attendees included staffers from KS’ Community Education, Strategy and Innovation, and Commercial Real Estate divisions, along with nā kumu, staff and haumāna from the Kapi‘olani Community College STEM program; the Windward Community College CNA-LPN-RN and Health Pathway Program; the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, and the XLR8UH program.
The brief ceremony began with a blessing of the partnership and haumāna followed by a hoʻokupu presentation from KS staff and each of the UH groups to mahalo Ke Aliʻi Pauahi for her generosity and foresight in providing educational opportunities in perpetuity for Native Hawaiian learners.
The KS and UH STEM innovation and entrepreneurship collaboration includes two projects: Project ‘Olonā, which comprises six integrated Hawaiian culture-based STEM and Healthcare teams assigned to specific laʻau lapaʻau (Hawaiian herbal medicine) projects, and Hālau Pā, an innovation hub located in the heart of Mōʻiliʻili.
The newly formed education collective aims to engage Native Hawaiian community college students in Project ʻOlonā through a series of applied and scientific research projects that are founded on Native Hawaiian ‘ike and ways of knowing and doing while leveraging 21st-century scientific technology and tools to better investigate and understand what their kūpuna knew and practiced through centuries of lived experiences.
Research projects are selected based on their social impact on the Native Hawaiian community, and their potential for commercial viability and contribution to research in the fields of STEM and Hawaiian studies.
The Hālau Pā will be the piko or central point for the convergence of Native Hawaiian student research and innovation. It will provide a space for highly creative, culturally-grounded, interdisciplinary collaboration for students from the various colleges and programs – including nursing/health, construction, and business – to pursue research, product development, and prototyping.
Through Hālau Pā, students will have access to design space and equipment, as well as university researchers, mentors, and industry experts. Coordinated student research and product prototyping developed at the Hālau Pā will be supported by KCC, WCC and JABSOM faculty.
Entrepreneurship experts from XLR8UH will assist the students in cultivating commercially viable products or services that can be taken to market, contribute to Native Hawaiian well-being, and realize revenue generation in support of KS and the UH System’s continued funding of education and new career opportunities and/or industry pathways.
The partnership aligns with KS’ Strategic Plan 2020 that will guide the educational trust from 2015 to 2020. The plan marks a starting point toward Vision 2040, which envisions success for all Native Hawaiian learners.