This blog is a website to provide ongoing support to all teachers in their implementation of the Island Energy Inquiry Curriculum shared in teacher workshops throughout Hawai'i.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Brand-new vimeo of Island Energy Inquiry!
Thanks to talented Pomaikai Elementary teacher Donelle Sakuma for creating this same-day vimeo of our Island Energy Inquiry workshop, part of the educational offerings of the Ka Hei program state-wide.  Watch for IEI workshops coming to your islands!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Working with Maui Electric towards energy prosperity

Our Island Energy Inquiry team worked alongside Maui Electric Company at their Electric Energy Fair to help families discover the path to energy prosperity.  Can you hand-crank our turbine and convert it to a table fan?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Blog Feedback

Aloha Island Energy Inquiry (IEI) Blog Readers,

The MEDB Island Energy Inquiry team would greatly appreciate your help in obtaining feedback regarding the popularity of the IEI blog. If you would like to continue reading posts from our Island Energy Inquiry team, please email Melinda White at  Please feel free to let us know what topics you would be interested in for future posts.

We hope to hear from you!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

STEM Success: For all?

Rocket Scientist Syndrome


I enjoyed Alfred Hall’s commentary (April/May 2015 The Science Teacher).  He’s done a nice job of showing the importance of educating STEM students—both the ‘best and brightest’ and everyone else.


My reasons for agreeing are more social than strictly educational.  I actually became a 17-year science teacher because of what I saw during a 19-year career as an engineering manager and executive.  I was dismayed at how ‘uncool’ it had become for American students to embrace science and engineering.  I hired many young engineers, and increasingly they’d been educated abroad and had come to America to fill our gaping need for technical professionals.  Where were our own professionals?


Taking college campus tours with our son, I would hear our campus tour guides pointing out the dorms, library, or campus performing arts center with pride.  Then we’d pass the engineering school (at a distance) and the guide would say, in effect, “There’s the engineering school.  We see the freshmen disappear there and show up at graduation…we have no idea what happens to them in between.”  The not-subtle message steers young people away from STEM—almost horrifying them.


As a science teacher then, I had a combined mission.  Rather than try to turn everyone into scientists, I instead wanted them to appreciate the possible ‘cool-ness’ of the sciences.  I got everyone in our class doing science, asking and answering their own questions, learning the way scientists learn.  But my message was straightforward.


Science (STEM) is not for everyone.  We want those who have the natural STEM talent and disposition to understand that a technical career can be very cool, enjoyable and rewarding.  We want another tier of mechanically-gifted people to enjoy becoming technicians, mechanics, experimenters and to know their talents are valued and rewarded by society.  And we want everyone else—the artists, actors, poets, historians, accountants—to be comfortable knowing and working with ‘nerds’ because we are not nearly so nerdy as we seem, and we’re actually doing cool things that all students can and should experience in middle and high school.


Lately, I’ve been concerned with the backlash that STEM is starting to get, as STEM programs succeed in attracting funding and student interest.  Schools want to add Arts to STEM, making it STEAM.  And add reading skills (STREAM) and maybe music (STREAMM?) because educators worry there’s a big pendulum in education that can only swing one way or the other.  False!  We’re not trying to grab humanities students and force them into STEM pathways.  That would be crazy.  We just need to create awareness among all our students on how to either pursue STEM careers (with the natural disposition of those few students and with society’s approval of them) or pursue totally different fields (with a clear fondness for their STEM sisters and brothers).


This is a paragraph I sent home to parents each year as a science teacher: 


                We need to be a society with members capable to figure things out and make things work—to produce.  Our courses in science and math help prepare some specialists for their further technical training, and help the rest of society understand the part played by scientists, engineers, and technicians.  Similarly, our science majors need to know that building a physical framework is only a part of society’s output.  Cars, spaceships, computers, and particle accelerators are all tools and devices that serve us while we also advance arts, culture, philosophy, religion, or even entertainment and recreation.  Students in my courses will hear my views of where their classes fit into their portfolio of understanding. 


                                                        Graham R. DeVey

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Electric Future! Attend an Open House Near You...

The Hawaiian Electric Companies and NextEra will be meeting with your community to share ideas for the state's energy future.  You are invited!  All times are 5 to 8 PM at the locations shown here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hawaii's Warm Sun

These are illustrations within a new IEI module for Kindergarten, titled "Hawaii's Warm Sun" which bases the NGSS standards for grade K on energy we use from the sun in Hawaii.  In this lab activity, students explore the effects of bright sunlight on colors of construction paper.

Kaua`i Training Photos

Our teachers on Kaua`i are documenting their inquiry learning through iPad photos.  This group was learning Island Energy Inquiry as part of the Ka Hei statewide project with our partners OpTerra Energy Services.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ka Hei Project brings IEI back to Kaua`i

This IEI workshop at Kaua`i Community College was hosted by OpTerra Energy Systems as part of the Ka Hei project now being piloted.  During part of our studies, we worked with Bob Conti, one of the state's top training resources in solar energy and a great friend of the program.  Check out the flow of water from the pump that Bob is powering with a Photovoltaic panel!