AT&T and UH Manoa partner to educate middle school students and teachers

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jun 2, 2008

"This project truly emulates what we had envisioned when you bridge education with wireless technology, and the university has done an excellent job combining innovative technology to make science and research fun and exciting. We are glad to be a part of this initiative that is supported by so many locally through the middle school, at the university level, and in the state."
~ Dan Youmans, director of AT&T External Affairs.

HONOLULU - AT&T Foundation has announced a generous gift of $25,000 to benefit Sanford B. Dole Middle School. Dole Middle School is one of over 20 Hawai'i schools who participate in the innovative Research Experience for Teachers (RET Hawai'i) program, a teacher driven model which focuses on advancing science and technology in Hawai'i's middle schools. Nationally, the AT&T Foundation has committed $1.5 million to help schools and nonprofit organizations integrate wireless technology into educational outreach efforts.

It is support such as this, and additional funding from the State and the National Science Foundation that allows RET Hawai'i to continue their outreach efforts. RET Hawaii has been able to grow from one O'ahu middle school, to 20 participating schools on four islands including Kaua'i, the Big Island, Maui and O'ahu. This nationally recognized program, which fosters an active collaboration between middle school teachers, University of Hawai'i faculty, graduate and undergraduate students and industry partners, was initiated in 2004 through an initial grant from the National Science Foundation to the Hawai'i Center for Advanced Communications (HCAC) in the College of Engineering.

On May 19, two teams of 8th graders and teachers from Dole Middle School conducted off-campus water quality testing utilizing wireless technology. Nearly 150 regular education, special education and English as Second Language students from Dole Middle School participated. Team Ali'i Warriors visited the Kawainui Marsh Restoration Project Site at Ulupo Heiau State Park in Kailua. Team Mālama visited the Kōkua Kalihi Valley Restoration Project Site deep in Kalihi Valley. At each field site, the student researchers and teachers conducted water quality investigations using a variety of state-of-the-art wireless technology tools to learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The students utilized water quality test kits to acquire data and handheld computers known as PDAs (personal digital assistants), to input and transmit collected data to other teams. Some collected data using automated technology methods such as PDAs with sensor probes.

Following the field projects the students and teachers, officials from AT&T Western Region, the UH College of Engineering, UH Mānoa, the UH Foundation and the Hawai'i State Department of Education met at Ulupo Heaiu State Park for the AT&T check presentation.

The University of Hawai'i Foundation is an independent, university-related, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise private funds according to priorities determined by the academic leadership of the University of Hawai'i and approved by the Board of Regents. Founded in 1955, the Foundation provides a full range of fund raising and alumni relations services for all 10 UH campuses.

The University of Hawai'i College of Engineering is celebrating its centennial year. Since its inception, the college has granted more than 9,000 engineering degrees. Today more than 900 students are pursuing B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.s at the College of Engineering in three disciplines: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

About Philanthropy at AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its philanthropic initiatives and partnerships, AT&T supports projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; and address community needs. In 2006, AT&T contributed more than $101 million through corporate, employee and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T Inc., combine more than $1.8 billion of historic charitable commitment to communities across the country.

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