Digital Bus Program Promotes STEM Education on Maui

KADigital Bus ProgramHULUI — Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui delivered remarks at the unveiling of a brand new Digital Bus at the University of Hawaii – Maui College.   The Digital Bus program is an environmental education program that promotes culturally relevant, experiential learning in the K-12 school grades.

The Alaka`ina Foundation (a 501(c)3 Non-Profit) implemented the Digital Bus program on Maui in 2005, and because of its success, expanded the program to Moloka`i in 2010. The mission of the program is to encourage interest in science and technology among the underrepresented student populations in grades K-12. This mission is achieved through 3 primary objectives: offering a state-of-the-art mobile learning platform; offering field-based science projects to K-12 students that incorporate high technology and meet the Department of Education Hawai`i Content and Performance Standards (HCPS); and ensuring long-term impact via educator professional development opportunities.

Since inception, the Digital Bus Program has reached over 18,500 students on Maui and Moloka`i. Each year it reaches approximately 1,600 students on Maui, and 400 on Moloka`i. School teachers from each school are able to sign up for projects that meet their class needs, and we provide everything for the projects, to include bus transportation to the field location. Of note is that the program on Moloka`i established the first Environmental Student Council in the State of Hawai`i for grades 4-8 in all elementary and middle schools.