Teacher Ambassadors Sharing Knowledge (TASK) News
October 9-13th, 2019
The Teacher Ambassadors Sharing Knowledge project (TASK), under the auspices of K-12 Outreach Offices, just completed its first bi-annual teacher exchange workshop in Nome. A cohort of 15 Hawaiian teachers from the Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Complex Area in Kopolei, Hawai’i, flew to Anchorage, October 9th. Members of the TASK staff met them and provided STEM based professional development while in Anchorage and Whittier.
The entire group then flew to Nome on October 11th, to meet their Nome counterparts at the Northwest Campus site. Presenters included Dr. Barb Amarok, Northwest Campus Director, subsistence hunter and subsistence resource management expert, Roy Ashenfelter, Brenda Duty, the Project WILD and Youth Education Coordinator from Anchorage, a performance by the Nome High School Iñupiat dance group, Culture Club, joined by Nick “Eskimo Ninja” Hanson, and followed by Hanson’s presentation about representation and education.
The following day, Puanani Wilhelm shared her knowledge about Native Hawaiian standards in teaching.
A briefing on place-based lesson development was presented by Dr. Megan McGinty, UW and Courtney Breest, UAA. “It’s important for our teachers to understand the intricacies, pedagogy and best practices for developing place-based science curriculum, and how to tailor this knowledge for specific age groups,” said Sam Norlin, principal investigator of TASK. “We included Dr. McGinty because of her expertise in climate studies, knowledge of cultural science education, and development of place-based curriculum,” concluded Norlin.
Teachers then formed groups to begin their collaborative work, which will largely be conducted via Zoom Video Communication meetings and through the use of Samepage, a collaboration software platform for online teams.
A second workshop will take place March 16-20th in Kapolei, HI, where teachers will again have face-to-face collaboration. Teachers who haven’t been to Hawai’i before will have the opportunity to witness Hawaiian culture in person.
A future student cultural exchange academy will offer participating students a chance to learn about college expectations and campus living to help them with a smooth transition from high school to college life. The project hopes to include students beginning the second year of this 3-year grant.