Summer Math and College Readiness Academies

Background

OLA has partnered with the Ka Waihona o ka Naʻauao (KWON) Public Charter School in Waiʻanae during the summers starting in 2012. For five weeks, KWON conducted a math and college preparation academy for approximately 50 students, grades 6-8, from the Waiʻanae coast.

The Academy was offered with two main objectives: (1.) Promote a successful math experience for students in preparation for algebra and (2.) Expose and educate students and parents on the value of attending college.

Math course implementation

The classes had access to online math content from NROC’s "Developmental Math - An Open Course", which contains units that are aligned with the Common Core math standards for the middle grades, Algebra 1 and above. Each lesson has multimedia presentations, worked examples, practice, review and puzzles or games available for the students to hone their skills. The students and teachers were impressed with the quality of the online course content, and appreciated the ability to individualize the pace. Online coursework was used in conjunction with rich group tasks, activities and discussions to support the learning objectives. Teachers were able to diversify the learning experiences to engage and best adapt to needs of the students. UH Mānoa student tutors were available throughout the school day and after school.

College Readiness Activities Implementation

Each on-site school day included a period for a college readiness seminar. These seminars covered a variety of subjects such as college exploration, career exploration, learning styles, homework, time management, test taking, stress management, and note taking. In addition they hosted a panel of students from the community who are currently in college pursuing a variety of degrees in a variety of majors. A second panel of professionals were also hosted including professionals (doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, professors, etc.) in the community.

The parent component is an integral part of the program as well. Parents attended an Informational Session Night, Orientation Night and Back to School Night to learn how to best support their children in their future ambitions.

Field trips

A big highlight of the program was the opportunity for students to visit several STEM-related programs or college campuses. Examples include Windward Community College (WCC), students toured the campus, Hawaiian Studies Program, Aquaponics Department, campus bookstore and library. College representatives presented on financial aid and applying to WCC. KWON students also participated in the I Ka Wa Ma Mua Ka Wa Ma Hope (The Future is in the Past) program at the Bishop Museum. Students explored the role of winds, waves and stars in navigation via the immersive full dome video of the newly renovated J. Watumull planetarium; learned about canoe engineering and structure in Hawaiian and Pacific Halls, brought to life through vivid storytelling; examined voyaging plants and their uses in the Native garden; and visited the Science Adventure Center to explore the role of birds in traditional navigation. There was also an overnight campus visit was to the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Students participated in activities with Hawaiʻinuiakea School of Hawaiian Knowledge, Kanewai Loʻi, College of Engineering, Math Department, and William S. Richardson School of Law.