INPEACE ‘Ike Hawai‘i Indigenous Pop-Up Science Center Feasibility Analysis

HACBED partnered with the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture (INPEACE), a nonprofit organization that offers “Hawaiian culture-based early learning education and promotes community strengthening through educational equity, teacher development, and family economic capacity building programs” to conduct a feasibility study for an ‘Ike Hawai‘i Indigenous Pop-Up Science Center:

‘Ike Hawai‘i plans to create an innovative, traveling science center made up of multiple exhibits that aim to increase Native Hawaiian student participation and engagement in science and math. The first of its kind in Hawai’i, these exhibits will be designed to provide opportunities for numerous options to play, and explore scientific principles and methods in an informal, undirected setting. As learners move and interact with the exhibits at their own pace, they will be able to modify variables and make decisions that affect outcomes, learning and problem-solving. Allowing learners to first experience scientific principles in action aligns with Indigenous educational practices which promote a practical application of concepts before explaining the theoretical foundations. ‘Ike Hawai‘i will create informal STEM learning and making-tinkering activities grounded in culture-based education and indigenous science and technologies, which increase engagement and stimulate interest in STEM topics among NHPI students and families. Specifically ‘Ike Hawai‘i will design, build and test prototypes of interactive museum-grade exhibits through a collaboration of science experts, teachers, students, and cultural practitioners. These exhibits will be designed for and delivered to public audiences of all ages, with a strategic focus on NHPI youth ages 4 through 14 and feature informal learning experiences that engage learners of all ages in hands-on explorations grounded in Indigenous scientific knowledge and practices.

By providing informal, place-based STEM learning environments grounded in traditional worldviews, ‘Ike Hawai‘i allows the resources to meet people where they are at. Moreover, by creating traveling exhibits we will be able to serve rural communities that typically have limited access to informal learning resources. Informal learning also allows for self-directed interaction, providing learning opportunities that promote and build skills in observation, exploration, problem-solving, experimentation and reflection. Upon completion, exhibits will travel to rural communities, setting up in schools, community centers and/or exhibit halls for a period of 2 – 14 days.

After thorough data analysis, a market study, interviews, focus groups, partner meetings, and financial research, the information collected was synthesized into a report. The report included a timeline, financial projections and recommendations, an assessment of barriers and challenges, as well as an action plan.