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Molokai High dedicates new science building to accelerate STEM learning

Molokai High School dedicated its new science building in a ceremony earlier today before dozens of excited students, teachers, parents and community members. The new facility at the island’s only high school will provide state-of-the-art teaching tools for Molokai’s ninth through twelfth-graders and includes two science labs for Physics, Biology and Chemistry classes and a teacher prep room. The building was designed to be environmentally friendly and sustainable with natural lighting, cross ventilation and an attached water catchment system.

“Over the years, the faculty and students at Molokai High have set a high bar with its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “While the school has received many awards for its STEM projects, this new facility allows for even more innovation to occur.”

The new science center also comes at an opportune time with the Department’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards.

The two new labs each include eight movable lab stations seating four students each, a separate teacher demonstration table, and student desk seating, providing a customizable classroom for various science activities. The facility meets current standards for science lab classrooms, which include such specific requirements as built-in safety equipment, such as eyewash stations and fume hoods; adequate gas, electrical and water outlets; and lab worktables and storage cabinets.

“Students at Molokai High have had great successes in STEM and Science Fair competitions over many years and the new science building will launch them to even greater heights,” said Principal Stanford Hao. “The Vision Statement here is ‘Molokai High graduates honor the past, embrace future innovation and take personal responsibility for delivering excellence.’ The multipurpose labs will allow for larger experiments, projects and collaborations, all while maintaining a high level of safety. We thank our legislators, students, alumni, parents and staff for their support in making this project a reality and for the achievements of our STEM and Science programs.”

Construction of the new 4,500 square-foot facility began in the summer of 2015 at an approximate cost of $4.7 million.

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