Our Islands, Our Future

Participation at a national student convention provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their ability to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and ethical users of technology, according to Maui High School teacher Clint Gima. “By exposing our students to the world outside of Maui and to other teachers and students who are passionate about digital storytelling, our students will come back even more motived to work hard and become leaders in our classes,” Gima said. He and 14 Maui High students in grades 9 to 12 are attending the Student Television Network Convention this week in San Diego, California.

Veteran attendee Giel Marie Tolentino, a Maui High junior, described the convention as an “amazing experience” that gives her and her classmates a chance to meet aspiring broadcast journalists and storytellers. They expect they’ll be applying learned skills in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Maui High’s appearance at the convention is due, in part, to a grant from the Maui Economic Development Board’s Ke Alahele Education Fund. “I believe that it is important for the community to support schools in STEM education because it gives students hands-on experiences around the community,” Tolentino said. “STEM education also helps students find out what career they want to pursue in the future.”

The annual Ke Alahele Education Fund Dinner has been set for August 29 at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui Resort in Wailea. “If the community is concerned about having students who are not ready for college or careers, we need to continue to advance STEM programs because in addition to the traditional prescribed learning, students need opportunities to think for themselves, interact with professionals, develop their own learning, and work on real world problems,” Gima said. “In the high school setting, especially in the STEM classroom, students learn to work together, attack real-world problems, and work on projects where there is no one correct answer.” The Student Television Network Convention features a variety of on-site contests for students and networking for STEM teachers.