Asee peer logo

Engineering Energy Solutions: Facilitating Hands-on

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Engineering Professional Development for K-12 Teachers

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.584.1 - 22.584.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Leslie Wilkins Maui Economic Development Board

visit author page

Leslie Wilkins has served as the Vice President of the Maui Economic Development Board since 1999. She was hired to design, launch and direct the Women in Technology Project with a mission to engage girls/women and under represented populations into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) pipeline. In its tenth year, the program serves annually more than 14,000 students, educators and industry members throughout the state of Hawaii from elementary school to job placement.

visit author page


Diana Papini Warren Maui Economic Development Board

visit author page

Diana Papini Warren is a Project Manager with the Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology Program. She develops and manages several statewide STEM education initiatives, including the Island Energy Inquiry program. She developed the Island Energy Inquiry Curriculum for grades 5-12 and facilitates the professional development courses for teachers throughout Hawaii. She holds a Master of Science in Education and has fourteen years experience working as an educator, a curriculum developer, and a professional development specialist.

visit author page


Frank R De Rego Jr. Maui Economic Development Board, Inc.

visit author page

Frank De Rego, Jr. is a Program Manager with the Maui Economic Development Board, Inc. with experience in developing service-learning curricula in Engineering and Sociology.

visit author page


Kanesa Duncan Seraphin University of Hawaii at Manoa

visit author page

Kanesa Duncan Seraphin is an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa’s Curriculum Research & Development group and director of the UH Sea Grant Center for Marine Science Education. Dr. Seraphin is an experienced provider of science and engineering education outreach and professional development for K-12 teachers and informal educators. She is currently the PI on a US Department of Education grant in Teaching Science as Inquiry for middle and high school teachers, PI on a NOAA funded science and technology outreach grant, and Co-PI on a NSF collaborative grant between the Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence – California.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Engineering Energy Solutions: Facilitating Hands-on Design Projects for Middle and High School Students via a Statewide Professional Development Program for Teachers The state of Hawaii is the most dependent state in the nation on the importation of fossilfuel. With an ambitious and targeted goal to reduce that dependency, Hawaii has made apublic/private commitment to be powered by 70% clean energy by 2030. A similar commitmentto building an education to workforce technically skilled pipeline is critical to attaining energyindependence. Teachers from throughout the Hawaiian Islands have been engaging inprofessional development courses that give them the skills, curriculum, and hands-on materialsto engage their students in designing energy solutions for our unique state. “Island EnergyInquiry” is the name of the statewide program which originated on the island of Maui and soonafter spread throughout the state. Middle and high school science teachers are faced with limited time and resources tokeep their students engaged and interested in pursuing STEM fields. Yet at the same time,research shows the desperate need for cultivating more engineers and scientists. In particular, weneed a new generation of engineers, (environmental, electrical, and otherwise) to help solve theenergy challenges we will continue to face as a nation in the decades to come, and, certainly, asan island chain. Over the last year in Hawaii, five separate teacher professional development coursesengaged just over one hundred teachers in the use of innovative curriculum on photovoltaicelectricity, wind energy, and energy efficiency. In addition, local engineers and other energyindustry representatives presented on various energy topics to teachers. All participants receivedhands-on kits to take back to the classroom which included miniature PV modules, a four footwind turbine, and energy auditing equipment. All professional development events weredelivered using a hybrid learning environment which combined a two day face-to-face eventwith online, ongoing support during classroom implementation. Program assessment tools used included both a pre-assessment survey and post-classroom implementation survey of all participants. In addition, each course ended with a finalevent that consisted of teachers sharing summaries and results from their classroomimplementation of the curriculum and materials. The quantitative and qualitative data suggestthat the combination of the professional development model, the curriculum, and the hands-onkits were highly successful in engaging students throughout the state as engineers to solve ourunique energy challenges. 

Wilkins, L., & Warren, D. P., & De Rego, F. R., & Seraphin, K. D. (2011, June), Engineering Energy Solutions: Facilitating Hands-on Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17865

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015