Students doing robotics
Tsukuba Elementary School students prepare to test their robot at Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kānewai on Oahu

In 2017, Dr. Tara O’Neill and Dr. Hirohisa Nagai piloted a partnership in which STEMS² collaborated with University of Tsukuba and the Tsukuba University Laboratory School Network to provide student and teacher delegations with STEMS² learning experiences. To date, STEMS² is honored to have worked with three delegations from Tokyo and the surrounding areas.

In Fall 2017, STEMS² collaborated with Voyager Charter School and Ka Papa Lo‘i O Kānewai to provide a delegation of 20 fourth and fifth grade students from Tokyo with a one-week place- and culture-based robotics learning experience.

In Spring 2018, STEMS² hosted a delegation of 12 Tsukuba University Laboratory School teachers for a two-week professional development experience on O’ahu and Hawai‘i Islands.

Teachers at Plantation Village
Teachers complete a day of experiential learning at Hawai’i’s Plantation Village on O’ahu

In Fall 2018, one of the Tsukuba University Laboratory School teachers who attended the professional development experience in Spring 2018 brought a delegation of 10 high school students to engage in a week of STEMS² learning journeys on Maui Island.

Students on Haleakala
High School students from Tokyo learn about place, history, culture, and STEM through mo‘olelo on Haleakalā on Maui

As a result of the success of these experiences, a desire for long-term collaboration and partnership was created and in Spring 2019 the University of Hawai‘i approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Tsukuba. The MOU “encourages the exchange of faculty, scholars, students, academic information and materials and expresses the belief that the research and educational processes at both universities will be enhanced by formally establishing this collaboration.” The STEMS² ohana is excited to welcome the University of Tsukuba as the first international collaborator in the STEMS² network.

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