Kaikaina youth programs
We saw a need
Underrepresentation of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students in the technology classroom persists in part because Indigenous and other non-western cultures have been stereotypically portrayed as backward and undeveloped–the opposite of excellence in technology and innovation. This carries down into students not “seeing themselves” as potentially good at computer science and feeling like existing educational spaces for CS aren’t welcoming or affirming of their identities.
We challenge this by running Computer Science (CS) classrooms in a culturally grounded way. This means teaching a coding class based on the algorithmic patterns of making lei. Or using the Minecraft gaming platform for haumāna to build ahupuaʻa landscapes. It is our goal to make the link between Indigenous ecological technologies and contemporary digital innovation — teaching CS in concert with culture-based and ʻāina-based education.
As we increase access to tech education and ground students in the knowledge that their ancestors were Indigenous innovators, we broaden students’ career options and unlock their ability to use their talents and perspectives to serve their communities and lands through technology and innovation.
Based in Hālau ʻĪnana, this program uses technology education to foster student engagement, expression, and leadership. Students explore their world through imaginative digital and tactile/embodied arts and math content and make connections with guest experts from the community.
Navigating our communities to a sustainable future. Join us to explore the genius of our place and become stewards of wai + kai.