The Geography and Environmental Studies/Sciences (GES) department faculty has hosted and administered the Keaholoa STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program since September 2002. GES faculty has secured grants from the National Sciences Foundation Tribal Colleges and Universities program to help advance overall institutional transformation for increased participation of students from groups that are under-represented in STEM professions. The NSF funds have supported activities centered on:
- Faculty development especially enculturation of individuals who are unfamiliar with local and Native Hawaiian cultural perspectives and epistemologies
- Curriculum enhancement that fosters adaption of curricular materials and teaching styles to promote student academic success especially retention and graduation in STEM majors.
- Educational outreach (such as summer enrichment courses, science and technology workshops and presentations) to local K-12 schools and other educational units within the State
- Student science research internships, which is most significant in terms of positive impact on overall program goals
The internship program supports undergraduate participation in faculty research projects or their own research under the mentorship of faculty from through the university. All Geography and Environmental Studies Faculty currently mentor one or more Keaholoa interns. For more information on Keaholoa STEM see http://www2.hawaii.edu/~keaholoa/