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  • University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
    Ethnomathematics & STEM Institute

    1776 University Avenue
    Everly Hall 224
    Honolulu, Hawai'i 96822


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    Testimonials and Reflections

    “Taking an ethnomath approach means that you are not only having students do abstract math on a chalkboard, or read about scientific theories in a textbook. They are also having intimate experiences on the land and solving technical problems hands-on. Students not only gain conceptual understanding of an idea, but they also develop the kinds of relationships that Hawaiians and other Indigenous cultures know to be essential… The hopeful message I took away from the first two days of the institute is that…our relationships are still there, waiting to be reclaimed.” Read more at
    - Kelsey Amos, Purple Mai‘a Foundation (2015-2016)

    “For me, the Ethnomathematics and STEM Institute has been like doing the work of kanaka ulana, the weaver. My classmates and I are the natural materials used as the warp and the weft, and together we are producing a ‘weaving’ … A lauhala mat from Hawaii? A reed basket from Nigeria? A silk tapestry from France? Each of us brought our own thread of different colors and textures, and our diversity has added gold and silver accents to the ‘weaving.’ Alone, each piece was beautiful, but as the strands have been woven together, the product became unexpectedly breathtaking! The same is true on an academic level. By weaving together the strands of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math, and Culture, we are a stronger honua. A world woven together to promote peace!”
    - Michelle Buck, Ben Parker Elementary School/Kamehameha Schools (2014-2015)

    “I enrolled in the institute my first year of teaching. It was an awesome way for me to connect with other, more experienced educators across the state and through different specialties. I was able to collaborate and brainstorm amazing ideas with so many incredible minds. After each session I would leave in a state of awe, and completely inspired to return to my classroom refreshed. I am now comfortable to stray from the book, as I had intended as a teacher, and still connect our real world to common standards that public educators are now held to. The institute opened many new doors to me through education and community building events that spawned from this experience. I am privileged to have participated in this course in my first year of teaching. It has shaped the way I will teach for my entire career!”
    - DJ High, Kamaile Academy (2013-2014)

    “Each ethno participant is like a star and they vary in intensity. Prior to joining the ethno family, my intensity was low, I had lost my passion for teaching, I was ready to quit. Becoming a part of ethno allowed me to connect with others who shared their light, knowledge, and passion, which helped rekindle my own light. Together we are a part of a vast network that lights the sky.”
    - Yuko Iio, Stevenson Middle School (2013-2014)

    “To me, ethnomathematics means ‘ohana…it’s a way of bringing people together to learn, grow, and make the world our classroom. It means no matter where life takes you, you’re always part of a group that cares about you in an ‘ellipse of trust.’”
    -Froilan Garma, University of Hawai‘i - West O‘ahu (2012-2013)

    “The institute should be a requirement for every teacher preparation program. Everything we do is applicable, fun, and inspiring. At first I was a little hesitant to apply because I wasn’t sure about my math skills, but after meeting my group I fell in love with them and the program. This is a worthwhile experience, and I’m sad that it is coming to an end. I would enroll every year if I could—it changed my life!”
    -Marissa Kobayashi, Columbia University (2011-2012)

    Ashley Deeks, Campbell High School (2013-2014)

    Laura Farris, Kaimuki Middle School (2013-2014)

    Dana Fujiwara, Kapolei High School; Tessie Lumabao, Waipahu High School; and Jacqueline Meggs, Waipahu High School (2015-2016)

    Phil Galicinao, Hālau Ku Mana (2013-2014)

    Shari Jumalon, West Hawai‘i Exploration Academy Public Charter School (2013-2014)

    Beth Kauwe, Waimea Canyon Middle School (2015-2016)

    Shannon Kealoha-Kaia, Maui Waena Intermediate School (2015-2016)

    Janel Marr, Kailua Intermediate School (2015-2016)

    Jesica McPherson, University of Hawai‘i - West O‘ahu (2013-2014)

    Jo’el Nathansen, Kea‘au High School (2013-2014)

    Kaipo Tam, Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Ānuenue (2013-2014)

    Tara Sesepasara-Williams, Shafter Elementary School (2015-2016)

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