Technology Enhanced Sustainable Aina Project (TESAP)
Funding source: Office of Naval Research
Project objective: to increase elementary teachers’ focus on the “E” in STEM through teacher professional development in engineering principles and curriculum design
The Technology Enhanced Sustainable Aina Project (TESAP) coordinated professional development to assist K-5 teachers in developing and implementing grade-appropriate instruction in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum, with an emphasis on engineering concepts, real-world problem solving, and problem-based learning. A comprehensive array of supports were provided to the elementary school teachers over the course of two years (2011-2013). Participating schools included Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Anuenue (a K-12 Hawaiian immersion school) and Palolo Elementary School (serving grades K-5). Schools were selected based on high populations of Hawaiian and Pacific Island students and need. Engineering had not been addressed in typical elementary STEM-focused education because of limited teacher training, knowledge, and confidence.
The TESAP project aimed to increase elementary teachers’ focus on the “E” in STEM through teacher professional development in engineering principles and curriculum design.
The overarching goals addressed by TESAP were to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and engage students in STEM-related, hands-on learning activities. By the end of the project, TESAP aimed to:
Teacher-developed STEM curriculum
Increase teacher confidence and implementation of teacher-developed STEM curriculum integrating engineering content
Kids and Engineering
Increase student achievement, interest and identification with engineering
STEM-focused engineering projects
Showcase student STEM-focused engineering projects as a demonstration of learning
(Photos courtesy of Chaminade University)