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STEM pattern

STEM pattern

Sacred Hearts Academy


School Location:
Honolulu, HI

Jennifer Arthur
Dawn Robertson
Kana Takahashi 

School Website:

What is the focus of your STEM Blueprint work this year?

Our team’s focus this year is to serve as STEM leaders in our school community, and we aim to unify our understanding of STEM. We are working toward this goal by modeling authentic STEM integration projects in the classroom, leading PD training sessions and STEM meetings, and developing a Sacred Hearts Academy STEM website to provide teachers additional information and resources.


What are one or two exciting STEM experiences that have happened at your school this year?


Seventh graders at Sacred Hearts Academy have been able to experience two in-depth STEM projects this year. During the first semester, these young ladies built a ‘community shelter’ that would allow astronauts to survive on Mars.  Students investigated what Mars is like and determined items they would add to their shelter to ensure the astronaut’s survival.  They calculated areas and dimensions of shelter rooms, compiling them into a scaled-model blueprint before engineering their 3-D shelter model. This model shelter was tested to make sure it could withstand an average dust storm and then improved to withstand a severe Martian dust storm.  In the second semester 7th graders were at it again, but this time to “help the Hawaiian government curb wave erosion happening at Waikiki’s beaches.” Students used real erosion data to calculate and graph the annual erosion for each beach in the Waikiki area to find a target beach. Then they researched potential erosion-control methods, chose three to engineer and test, and finally shared their conclusions with the “government.”


Other grades have been getting into the STEM spirit as well! Currently, 3rd graders are using their knowledge of circuits and coding to make their famous biographers come to life. Also, just like Hawaii’s original ancestors, 6th graders are investigating how to build a device that will safely house a native plant over a long canoe journey. They will use knowledge gained from visiting a botanical garden on a neighboring island, learning from a native plant expert, and through an experimental testing period to find just the right variables to keep their plant alive and healthy.


 In what ways have you been able to engage other members of your school, local community, or other STEM Teaching Fellows? 

When the school year first began, we were able to present our Trustey Fellows experience to our entire faculty at Sacred Hearts Academy.  Our objective was to get everyone on the same page as to the meaning of STEM and what it should look like at our school.  Most recently, we conducted a professional development session where members of our lower school faculty were asked to engage in a STEM activity.  The teachers wore their "learner hats" and came up with a creative solution for a puzzling popcorn problem.