Hands-on Mathematics: How to Engage Middle and Secondary Students in Math


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Start Time: 

8:30 AM

End Time: 

10:00 AM

Experience math learning the Ka Pilina way! Many students struggle in math because it is not meaningful to the context in which they live. In this interactive session, audience will learn math the fun way and learn how the Ka Pilina project is making a difference to 7-12th grade students’ math outcomes.

Ka Pilina, The Connection in Hawaiian, connects middle school and high school students to improved math concepts using technology, new teaching strategies, and to college mentors. Ka Pilina also connects students to mathematics concepts that incorporate local and Hawaiian culture, daily life skills and to other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas.

The goals of this project are to make math fun while strengthening students’ interest and skills and their ability to apply mathematics skills to other STEM areas. The results will help students become more successful in mathematics and her/his transition from middle school to high school, or high school to college.

Learning Outcomes

The audience will learn about the Ka Pilina project and its goals, methods of Hawaiian measurement and apply in measuring objects, Fibonacci numbers and how they can be found in nature, and understand how local context can be brought into learning mathematics.


Photo: Kiriko Takahashi

Kiriko Takahashi, aan assistant specialist at the Center on Disabilities Studies at the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa, has her master’s in LD from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in exceptionalities. Her research interests include AT, culturally based education, and math.


Hye Jin Park, Ed.D., an assistant professor at the University of Hawai’i, Center on Disability Studies. Participating in multiple projects at the CDS, Dr. Park has taken lead on evaluation and analysis of data on many projects.

Photo: LJ Rayphand

LJ Rayphand, a native of Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia, is a graduate student at the Department of Educational Technology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa.

 Justin Toyofuku is a junior specialist at the Center on Disability Studies. He master’s degree from the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa is in mathematics. He also teaches mathematics at Kapi‘olani Community College.

Jerrik Feliciano is a graduate research assistant with the Pathways to STEM and Ka Pilina project for the Center on Disability Studies. He is pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa.

Jerica Mānoa is a graduate research assistant with the Ka Pilina project for the Center on Disability Studies. She has an MA in second language studies (with specializations in language teaching and language assessment, measurement, and program evaluation) from the University of Hawai'i, Mānoa.