We Did It!!!

TED-Ed Club @ Hālau ʻĪnana is a collaboration of students from public, private, and charter schools in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

Our TED-Ed Club Student Talks event was a success! Exhale…

After the cancelation from our leadoff speaker last night at 10:30pm, we scrambled to reset our schedule. Everything worked out well.

The talks were streamed live and can be viewed on Twitter @TEDEdHI.


• Project Kuleana performed beautiful pre-event music for about 20 minutes. We kept asking for another, and they kept delivering. They gave a powerful opening oli.

• Our awesome emcee Keely welcomed the audience, and we viewed an official TED-Ed Club video.

• Karen from ʻIolani got things started by speaking on career paths in the format of a recipe. Why not be passionate about something you’ll be “eating” for decades?

• Dayevin spoke on the current state of education. His solution? Project-based learning and passion. What school could be…

• We screened a video of Jason Tom at TEDxHonolulu. High energy and innovation in the arts.

• Next up was Hanai Makana, a team of students from Roosevelt who developed an app on endangered plants. Unfortunately, the lead presenter failed to show up, but the ones who did did a great job!

• A late entry, Gabriella from KHS, spoke on her passion of anthropology. Her passion lies in learning more about herself and in discovering more about her culture. She credits Kumu Curt Ai as being an inspiration.

• We viewed a video of Quinn Shiraishi from KS Maui at TEDxYouth@SeaburyHall. She offered a definition of what a “hero” is.

• This led to the interactive portion of the event. Everyone wrote the name of their hero on a sheet of paper, shared with their neighbor, then flew it at a target. This took us to intermission.

• Project Kuleana kicked-off the second half. They shared about how this class connected them to their culture, mele, and the land. Deep insights on how culture & innovation is not a contradiction, but a synergy.

• We screened a video of Jamaica Osorio and Ittai Wong on kauna at TEDxHonolulu. Our emcee Keely then shared about her deep connection to ʻōlelo.

• Kolaiah and Kaleolani from Hālau Kū Māna spoke about their cardboard planetarium and Polynesian voyaging. A video of the inside offered us a glimpse as to how intricate a project this was.

• Yoo Ra from ʻIolani spoke on the global issue of hunger. She pinpointed the cause to waste, and shared about how her club is making a difference locally.

• We watched a video of Jake Shimabukuro at TEDxHonolulu . A timeless classic.

• Our next speaker was Kayla from Waipahu High School. She told the story of her journey as a female student in the field of computer science and engineering. She credited Ian Kitajima from Oceanit as being a mentor.

• Our closing speaker was Madison, an elementary student from KES. She defined the qualities of a hero and then provided information about cancer. She spoke on the courage of her friend Ally who is battling bone cancer. An emotional and inspiring talk on empathy, friendship, and love. #AllyTamaStrong


• It was purely unintended, but the theme of “hero” emerged from today’s talks.

• The crowd was on the smallish side. I estimate that there were about 20 student presenters and 30 audience members. We usually average 40-60 audience members at these events. Could be that an unfamiliar venue impacts attendance.

• My essential question was, “Can world-class Hawaiian culture-based education be defined by student voices?” This question was not a literal one, but a guiding question for my school year. And it will continue to guide me and fuel me in the future.

• Felt drained at the conclusion of the event. Pleasantly surprised at some of the feedback. People were genuinely excited and started talking about next year. Huh? Next year? Maybe…


Our graffiti board was the bathroom wall. “What school could be”

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