Coding for the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex

We were so excited to be able to support three schools in the Kau-Keaau-Pahoa Complex on Hawai’i island to offer coding enrichment summer classes!  HI FusionED provided interactive training in Scratch coding, along with instructional videos for students to follow.  This work was done in partnership with our collaborators at the University of Hawai’i College of Education, Curriculum Research & Development Group.

RobotX Competition

Our collaborators at RoboNation are holding their first in-person Robo Sub competition in several years!  RoboNation hosts several international robotics competitions, in which students grow their love for robotics and bulid real-world skills they’ll need in the workforce, and in life.  They engage over 250,000 students each year!

In 2018, HI FusionED partnered with RoboNation to help host the international Maritime RobotX Challenge on Sand Island!  In addition to the rigorous autonomous maritime vehicle competition for university-level teams from across the world, there was also a hands-on science and engineering fair for Hawaii’s K-12 students.  Students were able to drive tethered underwater robots, learn to tie maritime knots from the Polynesian Voyaging Society, play with 3D printers, explore NOAA science centers, and more!  They also got to talk story with the RobotX competition teams and see the competitors in action!

Alaska-Hawaii Drone Training

HI FusionED led a virtual drone training and curriculum development workshop for the 2020 cohort of teachers from the Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Complex Area and Nome, Alaska.  Teachers learned how to fly a drone and capture video, then developed student-directed activities centered on environmental education over the course of three Saturay half-day sessions.

This project was a part of the TASK project (Teacher Ambassadors Sharing Knowledge), joining teaches in Hawaii and Alaska to provide experiential environmental education learning opportunities to their students.  

Check out this video of the west side of O’ahu taken by one of the teachers during training!

DT at Nanakuli Elementary School

In May, HI FusionED concluded a 3-year project in partnership with Nanakuli Elementary School (NES). Led by Principal Lisa Higa, the project involved professional development and training to improve school culture and increase student success.

Each year, Principal Higa selects a personal/professional development concept book for faculty and staff to read over the summer. She then works with and coordinates activities with consultants who provide professional development and training based on the current book’s concepts that align with the school’s overall goals and objectives.

In 2015, HI FusionED was contracted to use Design Thinking and Engineering Design processes to help faculty and staff at NES understand and use these tools and strategies to move NES forward. In addition, HI FusionED aligned activities with other on-going trainings and approaches (e.g., Strength Finders, MindUp!/neuroplasticity and Growth Mindset).

Special thanks to our training team — Mr. Kapono Ciotti, Ms. Sandy Ahu and Ms. Sheri Fitzgerald — for their expertise and commitment. Thanks also to Waialae Elementary Public Charter School for sharing their best practices with us.

Results were exciting and NES continues on their journey towards student-centered learning that focuses on the whole child within a culture of respect inside and beyond the classroom.

We thank Principal Higa and the entire NES faculty and staff for giving us the opportunity to work with such a dedicated team who truly hold their students in their hearts and minds. Best wishes to the entire NES community for continued success!!!

For more information about sustained professional development training, please contact us at info[at] or call (808) 988-1931.

11th Annual Hawaii Robofest – Congratz to All!

Congratulations to all the participants at the 11th annual Hawaii Robofest Regional event! This year, the Regional was held at the Pearl City High School Cafeteria. Special thanks to the Pearl City High School Robotics Club members and advisor, Mr. Hai Nguyen, for helping us during set up and breakdown and for the great robotics demo and Q&A during break. Additional shout out to Vice Principal Gary Kanamori (also, Head Referee) for his assistance at the event…and, especially for facilitating our programming workshop in February!

Of course, there would be no program without Prof. CJ Chung and Robofest staff at Lawrence Technological University, as well as our Hawaii Sponsors and Community Partners. MAHALO for your generous and continued support!!!

Community Partners: Waikele Elementary School, Highlands Intermediate School, Flo’s Min Florist, Inc.

Mahalo to all our volunteers, coaches, parents, teachers and school administrators for your hard work in supporting Hawaii Robofest students throughout the year!


ROBOPARADE (Non-competitive)

  • 1st People’s Choice Award – Nanakuli Elementary Team 1931-4 “Team 3”
  • 2nd People’s Choice Award – Palisades Elementary Team 1960-3 “Palibots 3”


  • 1st Place (Single Elimination) – Highlands Intermediate Team 2545-2 “HIS Purple”
  • Runner Up (Single Elimination) – Kanoelani Elementary Team 2424-3 “Robotfighters”

Main Category: GAME – AtBC

  • 1st Place – Highlands Intermediate Team 2545-3 “HIS Purple”
  • 2nd Place – Kapolei Middle, Team 1945-1 KMS Tech Hui
  • 3rd Place – Highlands Intermediate Team 2545-4 “HIS Gray”
  • 4th Place – Kanoelani Elementary Team 2424-2 “Robo Tennis”

Main Category: EXHIBITION

  • 1st Place: Manana Elementary Team 784-1 “Pena Removers”
  • 2nd Place – Kanoelani Elementary Team 1945-1 “Robotic Scorpions”
  • 3rd Place – Kapolei Middle Team 1945-1 “KMS TechHui”
  • People’s Choice Award – Manana Elementary Team 784-1 “Pena Removers”

For more information, please contact us at info[at] or call 808.988.1931. Visit our local Hawaii Robofest website or the national Robofest website for more information.

HI FusionED: Design Thinking-based PD

Design Thinking is a 5-step process to develop innovative solutions for complex challenges. Born from a need to improve business products and services, Design Thinking integrates end-users into a participatory design process, transforming passive users into collaborative designers. Most recently, growing interest has accelerated initiatives that transfer Design Thinking protocols to address education reform.

Since 2011, HI FusionED has adopted Design Thinking (DT) principles in professional development activities and program implementation. Using basic DT tenents, HI FusionED has facilitated DT-based workshops to help students and teachers create and transform learning environments, foster school-community partnerships and cultivate culturally responsive leadership.

HI FusionED facilitators are all Hawaii-based education specialists with backgrounds in public and private school administration, STEM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, mathematics) instruction and/or curriculum development.

Past work has included DT-based workshops at the National Association of Independent Schools People of Color Conference, Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) Conference, Teach for America (Hawaii), Nanakuli-Waianae Complex public schools, Honolulu district public schools and Waiahole Elementary School.

For more information, please contact HI FusionED at info(at)

Teaming Up with Hawaiian Electric: PowerScope

Hawaiian Electric’s Smart Power for Schools program launched a new project to help public schools save energy and educate students about managing the electric grid of the future. Partnering with technology companies, Hawaiian Electric presents PowerScope – a project that utilizes advanced technology tools to help students learn about electricity, solar power, energy conservation and mathematics.

Energy monitors and a Web-enabled portal presents historical, real-time and predictive electricity use through visual representations. The smart tech has already been installed in 250 public schools throughout the State. Installation will be scheduled for all public schools on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island and Maui County.

Hawaiian Electric has also designed activity sheets to support real-world application and learning experiences for students. These activities can be modified and/or scaled to enhance existing unit plans.

As an education consultant, HI FusionED was asked to help Hawaiian Electric connect with schools on O‘ahu for the pilot launch. We are excited about PowerScope’s potential as a learning tool and will be conducting presentations for all complex areas on O‘ahu in the Spring of 2017. Rollout to the Neighbor Islands is currently being planned.

Hawai‘i Robofest Kicks Off Its 10th Season!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Robofest in Hawai‘i! As the proud official site host, HI FusionED expresses our appreciation for all the countless hours of dedication and effort from students, coaches, volunteers, parents and community supporters that made the past decade so memorable.

Special thanks to this year’s sponsors: High Technology Development Corp, Friends of Hawai‘i RoboticsTime Warner Cable and the Hawai‘i Academy of Science.

For more information about the Hawai‘i Robofest program, please visit their website at or email

HI FusionED Hosts 9th Annual Hawaii Robofest

The 9th annual Hawaii Robofest Regional Qualifying Competition was held on Saturday, April 11th, at Pearl City High School. The Hawaii Regional is part of an international network of Robofest sites hosting scholastic robotic events in eight different countries and in eleven states across the nation. For the past several years, Hawaii has represented the largest regional event among all Robofest sites. This year, there were 56 teams from 17 different elementary and middle schools registered.

Kudos to all our sponsors, community partners, volunteers, parents and schools who were responsible for giving these students an opportunity to make learning fun!

Coach Comments:

“Hawaii Robofest gives students inspiration to work on STEM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, mathematics) projects…With the criteria set forth in Robofest, the students must learn teamwork, communication, perseverance and dedication to meet an end goal…It is an invaluable experience.”

“It’s a valuable enrichment to all schools if it was offered as a course or taught in the curriculum in addressing the (Next Generation Science Standards) for science and technology in schools.”

“Robofest is definitely an asset at our school as it allows students (the) enrichment (that) may not be so prevalent in the classroom…In the four years we have participated in Robofest, the students have developed life-long learning skills…such as teamwork, problem solving, communication and critical thinking. Thank you…for all you do in bringing Robofest to our schools!”

For more Robofest information, please visit the national website at or the Hawaii Robofest website.

Science, Engineering & ROVs: The Kawa Stream Project


To become the engineers and scientists of tomorrow, students today need to be exposed to the world of STEM to make connections between the basic science and math concepts and real-world applications to STEM careers.

The purpose of The Kawa Stream Project is to stimulate interest and develop student capacity for science- and engineering-based college and career pathways by understanding the relationships between 21st century content and contextualized investigative place-based learning.

Funded by a federal grant under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), The Kawa Stream Project introduces students to a real-world situation and the opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment.

Kawa Stream, part of the Kaneohe watershed or ahupuaa, has been compromised over the years due to negative impacts from both human and natural forces.

Through research and field studies, 7th and 8th grade students from MidPacific Institute and Washington Middle School will learn about the historical and cultural significance of the area and investigate sources and solutions for remediation of the stream. Students will present their findings at the NOAA Imi Wai Ola Conference in May.

A special thanks to our project partners, without whom this project would not have been possible:

  • The Pacific American Foundation & Waikalua Loko Fishpond
  • The Western Pacific Island Fisheries Science Center (NOAA)
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Engineering
  • 3D Innovations/3D Academy
  • Administration and Faculty at MidPacific Institute and Washington Middle School

KITV News Clip (Tuesday, April 5th, 2016):

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