Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.
Apr 1


April 1, 2021



Join us this fall at the Hanahau’oli School Professional Development Center for a locally developed STEM workshop for early childhood educators. Natural Scientists: Children in Charge is designed for educators across the state of Hawai‘i who work with children in preschool through grade 1, and will take place over the course of three face-to-face meetings, with online assignments and coaching along the way.

Designed with a progressive approach to early childhood STEM education, the workshop will explore theories and practices that demonstrate how children learn best when teachers allow understanding to emerge from a student’s play, hands-on explorations, and dynamic discussions stemming from interactions with the natural environment. Participants will learn how to maximize the initiative, questions, and observations of children to joyfully integrate STEM exploration in their early childhood classrooms. In alignment with theories that students learn best and are highly motivated when the school curriculum reflects their cultures, experiences, and perspectives, the workshop will feature a number of progressive place-based resources, strategies and experiences that will enrich your curriculum.

Thanks to a generous grant by the Samuel N. & Mary Castle Foundation, 25 participants will be paid a $300 stipend to participate, and up to 10 educators from neighbor islands will receive an additional $750 travel stipend to cover air, hotel, and ground transportation for the meetings. Participants must be present at all three face-to-face meetings to receive stipends upon completion of the program. Participants will be accepted on a first-come-first served basis, with applications available here beginning at 8am on April 1, 2021.

Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to be inspired and experience meaningful ways to engage young children in STEM learning, while being paid to learn and grow!


Participants will explore:

The process for creating a social-emotional safe zone for learning in the early childhood classroom

How to plan and teach early childhood STEM concepts, related to food sustainability

Inquiry practices for early childhood STEM education (e.g. asking questions, observing the natural world, gathering and analyzing data, forming conclusions, and taking action)

Place-based resources for early childhood education

STEM as “discovery in the natural world” and how technology can be used for making thinking visible, documenting learning, and assessment

Participants will:

Identify and define progressive and place-based approaches to early childhood STEM teaching and learning.

Experience and apply progressive and place-based STEM teaching and learning strategies to their particular teaching contexts.

Experience and build connections with local place-based STEM experts, locations, and resources.

Design one or more early childhood STEM lessons that meet the needs of students in their particular teaching context.

Implement STEM lessons in their particular teaching context and use technology to document student growth.

Reflect on early childhood STEM lesson implementation in a professional community of inquiry.

Please check back for workshop agendas and additional information as the application date nears, and reach out to pdc@hanahauoli.org with any questions in the meantime.


Alison Baclig is one of Hanahauʻoli’s Junior Kindergarten teachers. At Hanahauʻoli since 1988, Alison has taught in the early childhood classes of J.K., Senior Kindergarten, and the multiage Kukunaokala class (5-7 year olds). Alison holds an MEd in Elementary Education: Language Arts from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, an MS in Teaching Young Children with Special Needs from Wheelock College, and a BA in Psychology from Stanford University. She has participated as a presenter in teacher education workshops on thematic teaching and progressive education through the PDC at Hanahauʻoli. Alison is passionate about building skills of inquiry, communication and collaboration with young children.

Lauren Inouye is an early childhood educator who taught at Hanahau‘oli School for 36 years. She was part of the team who pioneered multiage classrooms at the school, and helped to launch the kindergarten and first grade classroom. She is the co-author of a book chapter in the NSTA publication titled, “Inquiry: The Key to Exemplary Science” (2009) and has presented this work “Inquiry With Young Scientists: Helping Children to Investigate Their World” at NSTA national conventions in Boston, New Orleans and San Francisco and at the Early Childhood Math & Science Institute of Region IX Head Start Association in Pasadena, California. She is also a regular presenter at The Hanahau`oli Teacher Collaborative: An Institute for Interdisciplinary Curriculum Design. In her retirement, she continues to work at Hanahau’oli School substitute teaching, tutoring and supporting school initiatives.

Summer P. Maunakea, PhD is an assistant professor of Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Education and Leadership at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Education. Currently, she teaches courses on curriculum leadership, place-based education, sustainability, interdisciplinary science and social studies grounded in an indigenous perspective. As part of the Kokua Hawaiʻi Foundation’s ʻĀINA In Schools team, she instructs professional development courses that prepare educators, parents, and community members to teach from the ʻāina, utilizing the ʻĀINA In Schools Curriculum. Summer is a lifelong learner of intergenerational approaches to the holistic well-being of people and the natural environment. Her role in the project will include connecting educators to the transformative community organizations and partners that aim to support Hawaiʻi educators.

Robert G. Peters, PhD. served as Hanahau`oli Head of School from 1982 to 2013. He received a Doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts, with a concentration in Foundations of Education and Curriculum Design. Currently he serves as Chair of the Hawaii State Early Learning Board and is President of the Samuel N. & Mary Castle Foundation Board of Trustees. Peters has taught graduate curriculum courses for the University of Hawaii and teaches in the UH/HAIS Masters Degree Program in Private School Leadership. He is the primary instructor in an annual summer institute titled The Hanahau`oli Teacher Collaborative: An Institute for Interdisciplinary Curriculum Design. Dr. Peters has served on a number of local and national boards and is currently a member of the State Advisory Council for the federal Preschool Development Grant and an accreditation trainer for HAIS.


April 1, 2021