Manana Elementary School PTO S.T.E.M. NIGHT


Manana Elementary School held their 1st MANANA PTO S.T.E.M. NIGHT on Friday, February 7 inside the school Cafeteria. The Manana PTO partnered with the organizations listed below to present the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Night.

ASCE YMF (American Society of Civil Engineers Young Member Forum)
Hawaiian Electric
Home Depot
NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) – Honolulu Chapter

Manana PTO Hospitality Chair, Nicolette Uemoto, who is an experienced professional engineer, worked with her core of volunteers to coordinate the highly successful evening that included S.T.E.M. oriented, hands-on activities presented to the kids by the experts from the presenting sponsors as well as school staff members.

"Because I'm an engineer by trade, I thought about giving back to the kids and kind of exposing them to the lost art of engineering," said Uemoto. "There aren't too many engineers out there because of guys retiring and not that many recruits. This is kind of getting the kids more exposed to hands-on verses electronics. Tonight, the PTO had milk carton box car racing, we had a siphon to show how our aquaponics works, and Hawaiian Electric was here to show the kids how to make circuits and how to produce energy. Also, they demonstrated how you need less energy to light up a CFL verses an incandescent bulb. We had the ASCE YMF (American Society of Civil Engineers Young Members Forum) work with the kids using gum drops and toothpicks to see who can make something structurally. The NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) conducted their annual NAWIC Block Kids event where the kids between grades 3-6 were able to build their own structure and after being judged, a winner was announced. The winner will represent Hawaii and will submit their project to the regionals."

"I think this is wonderful," said Manana Elementary School Principal Bryan Loo. "This is the first time we've had this event and I have to thank Nicolette and some of her parent friends who are also engineers for getting this started. An event like this takes a lot of planning, a lot of coordination and a lot of calls. We had to get volunteers so we have high school kids volunteering here as well. This is just great to see the start of something that hopefully can be an annual event and possibly the crowd can be even bigger the next time. I think the kids had a blast and the parents had a blast. We're always trying to promote S.T.E.M. because it's one of the DOE priority strategies. We're doing our part to spark interest and hopefully this will be a career for someone someday."

Hawaiian Electric Company continued their support of our Pearl City District Complex Schools with fun and interesting hands-on experiments.

"Hawaiian Electric works with a lot of the schools in the S.T.E.M. project obviously because its math and science," said Sam Nichols, Senior Community Affairs Consultant Education and Consumer Affairs. We're here today to teach the kids about energy conservation and how they can conserve energy at home and also how electricity is made and different conductors and insulators. What stops electricity, and what helps to continue to produce electricity. The kids just love all the hands on experiments that we have. I enjoy working with the kids and doing it as well. Just seeing their eyes light up when they see the light bulb light up is really neat. Manana is a great school. I've worked with them for many years actually. They've been a part of our home energy challenge and they've been doing a lot of different projects with us."

The kids and their guests also had a great opportunity to learn about Manana's Aquaponics and Robotics programs from Mr. Paragoso and Mrs. Okamura who presented information and displays at the event.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

NAWIC Block Kids winner Kristyn Mimura poses with her winning "Play Ground" themed project.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Top row (L-R) Senator Clarence Nishihara, Mrs. Gail Wakatake (6th grade teacher of Kristyn),

Principal Mr. Bryan Loo, Nicolette Uemoto (STEM Chairperson), bottom row from left, Kristyn's

mom and Block Kids Winner Kristyn Mimura – 6th grader.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Hawaiian Electric representatives (L-R) Kimm Teruya, Administrator, Education Consumer Affairs and Sam

Nichols,Senior Community Affairs Consultant Education and Consumer Affairs pictured inside the Manana

Elementary School cafeteria during the Manana PTO S.T.E.M. NIGHT on Friday, February 7, 2014.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Manana Principal Bryan Loo is pictured with Nicolette Uemoto, Manana PTO Hospitality Chair.

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

(L-R) Ashlyn Asato, Block Kids Chairperson for NAWIC and Maegan Best of NAWIC. 

Photo by Barry Villamil | [email protected]

Mahalo to all the volunteer judges representing our Pearl City Community!