Learning ‘Together’

KILAUEA — Science students at Kilauea Elementary School closed their books and opened their minds with daily hands-on experiments recently in a 10-day “Tech Together” marathon of learning.

In a program produced by the nonprofit Partners in Development Foundation, two instructors traveled from Oahu to teach the students about renewable energy in a new way.

“It was very exciting for my science students,” said 20-year teacher Joanne Thompson of Kilauea Elementary School. “Each student got to build their own solar-powered car and test it out. They also built solar ovens and cooked their own marshmallows. They loved it.”

In addition, the students did daily experiments designed to teach them about hydroelectric power, wind power and biofuel.

“The program instructors were some of the best I’ve ever observed,” said Thompson. “They were highly energized and really connected with the students.”

Thompson noticed there were students who participated that had never even thought about anything science-related as a career choice.

Students were allowed to take their experiments home with them. The week culminated in a recyclable competition with the winner presenting her newly-designed storage containers on a two-by-four board, using baby food jars.

“It is so beneficial in the long run to teach children about these types of things because there will be a lot of jobs available for them in the future in these fields of study,” said Thompson.

• Lisa Ann Capozzi, features and education reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or lcapozzi@thegardenisland.com.

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