Woody Plaut Creates Debate Class at Konawaena Intermediate

Debate course

Debate course at Konawaena Intermediate

Enterprising and creative are two adjectives that define Woody Plaut, National Board certified librarian at Konawaena Intermediate. Woody recognized the need for more course electives that inspired critical thinking in his middle school students at Konawaena. Two years ago, this prompted him to create and teach a course in debate. To his knowledge, this is the first public middle school program of its kind in the state.

His debate classes meet during periods 2 and 4 in a six-period block schedule. This means that Woody works with the students three or four times in a full week. The 7th graders meet in a semester class while the 8th graders meet in quarter classes as well as a semester class.
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Alexis Cariaga’s Research with Brine Shrimp Connects with Monitoring Ocean’s Health


Alexis Cariaga

In 2014, Alexis Cariaga enrolled in the PaCES-HIMB program through Windward Community College. This six-week course was a pivotal experience for the Pearl City High senior. She said, “I developed a passion for biological life and an appreciation for Hawaii’s Ahupua‘a system, coral reefs, and native plants.” The following year, she became a student mentor in the program and found that it strengthened her communication and leadership skills. Continue reading

Kirio Selected As One of Nation’s Great Educators

Carolyn Kirio

Carolyn Kirio

Carolyn Kirio, LIS alumna and Kapolei Middle School librarian was selected by The White House for their Great Educators Award. She was recognized at a White House ceremony honoring the National Teacher of the Year, State Teachers of the Year, and Great Educators from across the United States on May 3, 2016.

Kirio said: “It is rare to be invited to a party that celebrates education. It is even more amazing to see school librarianship being honored equally as educators of other core disciplines. I am humbled and grateful to have had this experience to represent all school librarians at this monumental celebration.” Continue reading

Amber Kim Studies Graphene

AmberWhen Amber Kim, a senior at McKinley High School, attended a physics workshop at UH Manoa, she heard about a substance called graphene that sparked her curiosity and inspired her to undertake a senior project. She conducted extensive research on the substance and learned that graphene is a thin layer of pure carbon, which is a single, tightly packed layer of carbon atoms that is bonded together in a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. She was drawn to its amazing properties: graphene is the thinnest compound known to man at one atom thick, the lightest material, the best conductor of heat at room temperature, and also the best conductor of electricity known. As the lightest and strongest material and with its ability to conduct heat and electricity, this substance has the potential of being integrated into an amazing number of applications. Such applications include wireless standards, sensory and biological applications, military equipment, and energy storage. Continue reading