Home Events Lessons Learned from Parent Workshops to Improve Parental Attitudes Towards and Involvement with STEM (Session 5B)

Lessons Learned from Parent Workshops to Improve Parental Attitudes Towards and Involvement with STEM (Session 5B)

Zoom: https://hawaii.zoom.us/j/8089682203
Main Topic
: Family and Community Engagement
Session Type: Skill Share


Parental attitudes towards science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) directly and indirectly influence the value their child attributes to STEM. Children of parents who have little experience or anxiety with STEM have been found to inherit similar anxieties with STEM, and benefit when programs bridge the gap between home and school by providing resources and opportunity for parents to participate in STEM-related assignments, activities, or events. The Ka Pilina No‘eau (KPN) Project has similarly bridged this gap through its Math and Science Learning (MSL) Model by implementing culturally-relevant parent workshops in partnership with  ALU LIKE, Inc. Together, we have developed and supported parents’ basic math skills, their engagement in their child’s STEM learning, and opportunities to be impactful on their children’s learning outcomes. Pre-pandemic, parent workshops were offered twice a week during after school hours. Parents and their children came to a location either at their school or otherwise in their neighborhood, and KPN provided attendants with dinner, so that parents did not have to worry about cooking for the evening. KPN and ALU LIKE, Inc. staff provided culturally-relevant and hands-on STEM activities. Topics included using algorithms to plan for a lūʻau, using Native Hawaiian units of measurement, exploring geometry and shapes in kapa designs, and calculating fractions and percents while creating lei. During the pandemic, KPN activities were adapted to be delivered virtually, and parent workshops were conducted online using Zoom. From Summer 2020, we also began to recruit parents to become peer mentors for other parents and replicate the parent workshop activities.

Over three years, KPN served 82 elementary parents and 45 middle school parents.  Pre-post workshop surveys found significant improvement in parents’ mathematical mindset; understanding about the needs of indigenous students in STEM; and knowledge of evidence-based STEM teaching skills.

In this skill-share workshop, we will provide an overview of the KPN parent workshops, parent testimony, and demonstrate two cultural and hands-on STEM activities taught in parent workshops for parents to do with their children at home. These KPN activities will demonstrate the following three MSL strategies to bridge home and school STEM education: (1) frame STEM in cultural ways to show parents that Native Hawaiians have a rich STEM heritage that continues on today, (2) incorporate local Hawaiʻi culture and everyday math examples in workshops so that parents can understand how they use and apply a range of math skills to daily and local activities common to their lives as well as other families in Hawaiʻi; and (3) demonstrate how STEM is used in the community, such as through partnering with community organizations to provide students and parents with service learning opportunities that highlight STEM use. These three MSL strategies are intended to highlight parents’ familiarity with math and science, to  build their confidence in STEM, to empower them to be active in their child’s STEM learning, and to have positive effects on their child’s, as well as their own, attitudes towards STEM.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Know components of the Ka Pilina No’eau (KPN) Math and Science Learning (MSL) Model.
  • Identify MSL strategies used in KPN Parent Workshops to improve parental attitudes towards and involvement with STEM.
  • Explore and participate in hands-on culturally relevant math activities.
  • Hear testimonies from KPN parent participants about the KPN parent workshop.
  • See examples of how to involve the whole family in math activities scaled for varying skill levels and math abilities.

Keywords: parent, parent workshops, attitude towards STEM, STEM education

This presentation was made by the contributions of the Ka Pilina Noʻeau Project (Native Hawaiian Education Program Award #S362A170031) research team, consisting of Kiriko Takahashi, Hye-Jin Park, Samantha Wee, Jerrik Feliciano, Yoko Kitami, Jerica Mānoa, Tingting Reid, Alejandro Guillen, and Megan Dabrowski, and collaborator, ALU LIKE, Inc.

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Mar 01 2021


5:00 pm - 5:45 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Mar 01 2021
  • Time: 10:00 pm - 10:45 pm

Zoom Meeting


  • Dr. Yoko Kitami
    Dr. Yoko Kitami
    Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - Junior Specialist

    Center on Disability Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

    Yoko Kitami, Ph.D. is a Junior specialist at the Center on Disability Studies (CDS), University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is involved in various community and education projects at CDS. She has been serving as a parent coordinator to support mentors, parents and their children. Her current studies are focused on social and emotional learning skills for Japanese middle school students. Her interests include supporting students at risk, especially students with disabilities as well as ESL students and mental health counseling for international students.

  • Mr. Jerrik Feliciano
    Mr. Jerrik Feliciano
    University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Center on Disability Studies - Junior Specialist

    University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Center on Disability Studies

    Jerrik Feliciano, M.Ed, is the STEM coordinator for Ka Pilina No’eau and Project BEAM. He is interested in developing lessons that brings the blending of mathematics and culture into the classrooms of secondary and primary schools.