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The Hawai`i Department of Education Maui District and Haleakalā National Park recently partnered to offer a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) workshop for Maui County STEM teachers. The objective of the collaboration was to explore different methods of teaching STEM curricula to children in both classroom and outdoor settings.
Resource Manager Steve Orwig answers questions about the rare and endemic plants being propagated in the park greenhouse. NPS
Thirty one teachers attended the full-day park workshop on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Teachers learned from park biologists about nēnē population monitoring techniques, feral animal management, and how park managers maintain ungulate-proof fence lines. Park biologists demonstrated techniques for conserving rare plants through seed propagation. Participants also received a "backstage" view of the park's ongoing climate change experiment, which involves testing the drought tolerance of the threatened Haleakalā `ahinahina (silversword). The park visit occurred after a daylong STEM workshop on Citizen Science, in which teachers explored different technologies in a classroom setting.
"The teachers and park staff hope workshops like this will bring real science and active stewardship ideas back to the classrooms," noted Polly Angelakis, the park's Chief of Interpretation.
Endangered Wildlife Biologist Cathleen Bailey shows teachers an old nēnē nest. NPS
Funding for transportation, lunch, and all workshop supplies was provided by the Hawai`i Pacific Parks Association, a non-profit partner of Haleakalā National Park.
For more information on the Maui District STEM Education Programs, contact STEM Resource Teacher, Diana Papini Warren at 873-3520, ext. 248. For more information on Haleakalā National Park education programs, please contact the park's Education Coordinator, Katelyn Thomson, at 572-4451.