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”

TED-Ed Lesson on Polynesian Wayfinding

Excited that it got published! I was blessed to be a part of the TED-Ed Innovative Educators cohort this past school year. Having met the animators at TED HQ in New York, I saw the potential and reach of this platform. At the time, the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage was taking place and Disney’s Moana was all the rage. The timing was right.

This lesson was a collaboration with Hōkūleʻa crew member Shantell De Silva. We worked on the script with a team from TED-Ed (a writer, a voice actor, and an animator.) The entire process took about 6 months.

I am pleased (and relieved) that the TED-Ed lesson has been well-received. It was an opportunity to introduce a Hawaiian culture-based lesson to the world. I am proud that this lesson shared ʻōlelo and connected a global community of learners to the Hōkūleʻa. My hope is that the lesson will help to tell the story of the indigenous wisdom and “moonshot” achievements of our ancestors.

Here is the link to the full lesson.

Ideas Worth Spreading

We did it! Our Kamehameha Schools TED-Ed Club held its Student Talks event at SALT @ Our Kakaʻako in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. It was a great success and a big relief…

The morning started with pre-event music by Chase & Chels. They were awesome and added much “street cred” to our event. Then our president Malia greeted the crowd and kicked us off. Here was our lineup.

• Malia spoke on life-changing lessons learned on her trip to the Galapagos Islands.
• Duke spoke on his summer internship at the University of Pittsburgh studying cancer treatments.
• Sasha shared her experiences as Editor-in-Chief at our school’s newspaper, Ka Mōʻī.
• Jacob shared the emotional journey of his injury at a track & field meet in the pole vault event.
• Sierra talked about her passion and experiences being involved with robotics programs.
• Laʻakea shared about work ethic in making it onto the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Team.
• Keely took us on her journey of auditioning for a Filipino reality show and friendships made.
• Cade, a “speechie,” articulated experiences of competing in speech & debate at the international level.
• Nicole spoke on her passion of exploration & adventure and to recognize opportunities.
• Bailey shared her inspiring story of why she created the Lifesavers Club and how to bring awareness.

They were all amazing! The Lifesavers Club then held a demonstration/clinic on CPR & AED.

It was a huge success and a great day for our students and audience. Mahalo to our student speakers! Mahalo to our president Malia for your hard work! Mahalo to SALT @ Our Kakaʻako for hosting us and for all of your support!


TED-Ed Innovation Project

Everyone in the TED-Ed Innovative Educators cohort delivered a 2-minute innovation project pitch on the TED stage at TED-Ed Weekend in New York City. My project is called [re]imagine (previously named SALT-Ed.) The guiding question is, “What if we could be more like NYU where the classroom is not just a building, but an entire city?” My project idea is to connect our Kamehameha Schools students to the city (specifically to Kakaʻako.) I would like to do this via school clubs, which would be least disruptive to the school day. The two main goals are to 1. Amplify Student Voices, and 2. Provide Authentic Learning Experiences. We’re off to a great start!

Our Entrepreneurship Club was invited to participate in Paʻakai Marketplace (night market) at SALT in Our Kakaʻako. Here is our club president Malia on our state’s number one morning newscast promoting the event and amplifying our student voices.

Here is our booth at the event. Our students sold wire & shell jewelry which they learned how to make in our Creative Metals class at school. Another student is a full-stack web developer who displayed his websites and passed out business cards. It was authentic, real-world learning, and it was a lot of fun.

We are looking to schedule a CPR clinic by our Lifesavers Club and a TED-Ed Club speaking event during the 2nd semester. Imua!