Christmas gifts came early…

On Friday, Dec 15th, Bonny Amemiya, Erin Shon, and Trevon Benn from The GIFT Foundation of Hawaii awarded I Am a Scientist with a $55,000.00 grant in support of our STEM outreach program.

Left to right: Lynn Haff, Lori Shimoda, Bonny Amemiya (GIFT Foundation), Erin Shon (GIFT Foundation), Dean Helen Turner, and Trevon Benn (GIFT Foundation). Photo credit: The GIFT Foundation of Hawaii.

We are very grateful to all the donors who supported us through the GIFT Foundation’s fundraising event. This grant will be used to expand our program so we can serve more students and schools. We will also work to extend our reach to the neighbor island schools. A long term goal is to use this funding to position our program to secure Federal funding and develop a self-sustainable funding model.

Link to the MidWeek article featuring the GIFT foundation beneficiaries:

Link to The GIFT Foundation of Hawaii:


Ahuimanu Elementary School 5 December 2017

On the 5th day of Christmas, my tutu gave to me, 5 scientists, 4 pounds of sugar, 3 lab stations, 2 second grade classes, and 1 school on the windward side…

On this sunny December 5th day, Chaminade Scientists and science undergraduate students took equipment and lab coats to Ahuimanu Elem.

IAS and the 2nd graders at Ahuimanu Elementary School

The “How Sweet It Is” lab allows students to experience science by weighing sugar, measuring dissolved sugar and making a super saturated solution of sugar. Using lab equipment and techniques that real scientists use on a daily basis made the students feel like real scientists. The goal of this lesson is to make students aware of how much sugar they unknowingly consume. By reading the nutrition facts label and being more aware of what is in their drink and food will allow them make healthy choices. Drink water!!

At the end of our visit we got hugs from the students, some asked if we could come back tomorrow, and a some said “This is the best day of my entire life!”

The new scientists of Ahuimanu Elementary School with the IAS team

Please click here to visit the Ahuimanu Elem Photo Gallery

Myron B Thompson Academy 1 December 2017

On Dec 1st, 6th graders from Myron B Thompson Academy discovered that learning is fun and exciting when you do it in a newly renovated laboratory, using amazing equipment, and when your instructors are super cool Chaminade University science students.

IAS with the 6th grade scientists of Myron B. Thompson Academy

During their “Gene Genius” module, students used colored beads to help them understand how DNA codes instructions for the diversity of life. They also extracted their own DNA, and were able to keep a sample of it in a small glass vial.

Their visit was capped off with a campus tour to see other classroom settings, the library and student center. While touring our research facility they were very excited and proud when they noticed that researchers used the same type of equipment they used in their lab activity.

Chaminade science undergraduates and Ho’oulu scholar recipients served as instructors and role models for their younger peers, demonstrating service and a path toward higher education.

Please click here to visit the Myron B Academy Photo Gallery

IAS at Ali`iolani Elementary School 28 & 30 November 2017

On Nov 28 and 30, Scientist and students from Chaminade University visited 2nd graders at Aliiolani Elem.

Our “Germs On Me” module turned ordinary kids into “Germ Hunters”.

IAS with the 2nd graders at Ali`iolani Elementary School

Students and teachers participated in a fun activity to see how quickly a “germ” could spread from one person to the rest of the class in just a few minutes. In their experiment, a lot of kids got “infected” by the pretend germ. They discussed what to do when you get sick, and ways to prevent the spread of germs to friends and family.

Students also performed a hand washing experiment to see the effect of washing on the amount of bacteria on a their teacher’s hand. In their experiment, hand washing removed almost all the bacteria that was originally there.

The “Germ Hunters” explored their classroom to discover the living microscopic world they live in by taking samples from their environment, culturing (growing) it on an agar dish, then observing and describing what grew. They were introduced to microbiology and had a great time using microscopes.

Please click here to visit Ali`iolani Photo gallery