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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

  • Maile Keliipio-Acoba
  • (808) 693-7222
Award Date:07/06/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 300,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 156,305
  • FY 2020=$156,305
Start Date:08/01/2020
End Date:01/31/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:Indigenous Hawaiian Knowledge/Ike Hawaii Pop-up Science Center: Exploring the Effectiveness of Community-driven, Culturally Sustaining STEM Exhibit Development
Federal Award ID Number:2002729
DUNS ID:059168851
Program Officer:
  • Toni Dancstep
  • (703) 292-7922

Awardee Location

Street:1001 KAMOKILA BLVD STE 226
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE)
Street:87-790 Kulauku Street
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

For thousands of years, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI) seafarers have successfully utilized systemic observation of their environment to traverse vast expanses of open ocean and thrive on the most remote islands on earth. Developing NHPI trust in the scientific enterprise requires building connections that bridge the values and concepts of ‘ike kupuna (traditional knowledge) with scientific knowledge systems and contemporary technology. This project will develop and research a pop-up science exhibit that connects indigenous Hawaiian knowledge with contemporary Western science concepts. The exhibit will show how community knowledge (that is consistent with underlying scientific principles and natural laws) has informed innovation by indigenous peoples. This community-initiated and developed project will begin with a single pop-up exhibit designed to incorporate several hands-on culture-based STEM activities that integrate traditional and modern technologies. For example, the exhibit may cover indigenous systems of star navigation for ocean voyaging, systems of netting for food and water containers, or systems of home design with local and natural materials. This project seeks to develop preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of such an approach for supporting rural Hawaiian youths’ STEM engagement, understanding, and personal connections to Native Hawaiian STEM knowledge. Findings from this pilot and feasibility study will inform the development of a larger pop-up science center grounded in indigenous Hawaiian STEM knowledge, and advance intellectual knowledge around culturally sustaining pedagogy by helping informal STEM education practitioners understand community initiated and developed STEM exhibits. This pop-up science center pilot will be led by a local Hawaiian community organization, INPEACE, in collaboration with several local community members and other community-based organizations. The preliminary research will iteratively explore whether and how an existing Hawaiian culture-based framework can be used to design hands-on STEM exhibits to enhance rural learner engagement, depth of STEM knowledge, and connection to Native Hawaiian STEM knowledge. Research efforts led by Kamehameha Schools, which has a long history of conducting research from an indigenous worldview, will engage 120 learners from various rural communities across Hawaii, from which 40 will be pre-selected middle-school youth, and 80 individuals will be from public audiences of learners ages 12 and up. Through a series of observations, interviews, pre and post surveys with validated instruments, and focus groups, the research will probe: (1) The learners’ thoughts on the science practice and its relevance to old and new Hawaii and modern society. (2) The level at which related STEM topics have been understood, and (3) The learners’ perceptions about their connection to Native Hawaiian STEM knowledge. Results from this pilot study will inform a future pop-up science center development project, and add to the scarce literature on community-driven, culturally sustaining exhibition development. This project is funded by the NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning program, which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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