Welcome to Transforming Scientific Practices through Teacher Leadership to Promote Students’ Interest and Motivation in STEA²M

What does the project provide?

Transforming Scientific Practices through Teacher Leadership provides a model for place-based professional development that sustains indigenous languages and knowledge. Teachers are recognized as cultural translators who incorporate diverse cultural resources including ancestral knowledge and art into STEA²M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Ancestral Knowledge, Mathematics) curriculum development.

Place-based curriculum aligned to NGSS is developed by teachers and NSF team members. Experiential, field-based, inquiry-oriented K-12 learning activities incorporate real-world applications integrating Hawaiian and 21st Century STEA²M. Hawaiian language translators translate science-related Hawaiian language articles from an archive of over 100 newspapers published from 1834-1948.  Articles provide teachers and students with a glimpse into past places and practices through the voices and eyes of ancestors. The wind maps on the right identify winds and their ahupua’a from The Wind Gourd of La’amaomao, a 16th century epic published by Moses Nakuina in 1902 then serialized in Hawaiian language newspapers.

NSF underwrites the collaboration among the College of Education, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), School of Hawaiian Knowledge (Hawaiʻinuiākea), and College of Natural Sciences.

Learn more about our NSF-funded projects

Top News!


Pacific Alliance Against COVID-19 (PAAC): a RADx-UP/NIH-NSF Partnership linking K-12 education and public health in Hawaiʻi

What if you’re incarcerated and cannot get information about COVID-19?Questions from Hawaii’s prisoners were translated into 6 Pacific Island languages spoken in prisons.  The Hawaiian translation team included an expert in COVID-19, Alika Maunakea, Hawaiian language teachers Alexis Maunakea-Stang and Kaleolani Hanohano, and Puakea Nogelmeier, Emeritus professor of Hawaiian Language.  This was the first time in 25 years that the Director of Public Safety has approved a prison community request.  The translation is a product of a Pacific Alliance Against COVID-19 and NSF Teacher Leadership collaboration.

COVID-19 information in English              COVID-19 information in Hawaiian


COVID-19 curriculum aims to reshape public health education

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted educators in Hawaiʻi to provide a historical look at contagious diseases in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. An interdisciplinary curriculum, COVID-19, the Latest Hawaiian Epidemic: Educating for Health, Responsibility, and Resilience Through a Place-Based, Cultural Lens, that compares and contrasts Hawaiian historical timelines and science phenomena associated with COVID-19, is the brainchild of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education Curriculum Studies Professor Pauline Chinn. Please see the news here.






  • 2017-2021 NSF Award No. 1721356
    • Transforming Scientific Practices to Promote Students Interest and Motivation in the Life Sciences: A Teacher Leadership Development Intervention. 
  • 2015-2017 NSF Award No. 1551502
    • Exploring Ways to Transform Teaching Practices to Increase Native Hawaiian Students’ Interest in STEM. 
  • 2011-2014 NSF Award No. 1108569
    • Kahua A‘o – A Learning Foundation:  Using Hawaiian Language Newspaper Articles for Place and Culture-based Geoscience Teacher Education and Curriculum Development.
  • NSF underwrites the collaboration among the College of Education, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), School of Hawaiian Knowledge (Hawaiʻinuiākea), and College of Natural Sciences.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.