Full STEAM ahead for Waimea Middle; top honors for Moanalua

Posted on Mar 29, 2018 in Featured

New Waimea Middle School Learning Center

The $15 million STEAM Learning Center at Waimea Middle School on Hawai’i island.

Waimea Middle students with the governor and first lady at the building dedication.

A  21st century dream came true this spring for Waimea Middle School on Hawai‘i island with the opening of a new $15 million STEAM

Learning Center. Governor Ige and first lady Dawn Amano-Ige, along with key Hawai‘i island legislators and community members, gathered Jan. 8 to celebrate the new facility dedicated to learning about science, technology, engineering, arts/‘aina and math (STEAM).

The vision for the building, named “Keaoākea” or “expansive knowledge” by the students, is indeed far-

reaching. Principal Amy Kendziorski said the school hopes the learning center will become “a hub for the entire community and a place to support professional development of teachers across the island.”

The governor, first lady and Sen. Lorraine Inouye plant an ‘ohia tree as a symbol of cultural and environmental awareness

In one of the modern classrooms, Gov. Ige talks to students about the significance of STEAM for 21st century learning and careers.

The building design encourages students to work together on projects through a makerspace, demonstration lab, science lab and general classrooms.

There also is an outdoor mini-amphitheater to integrate learning with the school garden. Governor Ige told the students, “I wish there had been a STEAM building when I was in school for hands-on lessons with technology.”




Top national honors for Moanalua High School’s orchestra

Orchestra members Emiley Hadano (left) and Annika Wong hold a trophy for the school.

The award-winning Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra at a performance emceed by first Lady and former vice principal Dawn Amano-Ige.

The 97-member orchestra of Moanalua High took first place honors in Atlanta, Georgia recently at the annual American String Teachers Association’s national festival. The prestigious event brought 20 of the top school orchestras from across the country to perform and participate in clinics.

The Moanalua group, led by music director Elden Seta, won two awards: the title of Grand Champion High School Division and first place in the High School Full Orchestra category. In a Honolulu Star-Advertiser story, Seta said, “It was an incredible experience. The kids gave it everything they had.”

Read more in April Capitol Connection newsletter