HCAP WEEKLY December 12, 2022

STEM Students Shine at Statewide Robotics Competition
Early Head Start Dads in Action
Kalaeloa District Client On Her Way to Success

STEM Students Shine at Statewide Robotics Competition

On Saturday, December 3, the Hā Initiative: Creative STEM After-School Program competed at the Hawaiʻi First Robotics State Competition at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu. A total of six teams from four STEM Exploration Centers entered the First Lego League competition, including three Explore teams and three Challenge teams. The Explore teams consist of students ages 6 to 10 and focus on the fundamentals of engineering as they explore real-world problems and learn to design, code, and create unique solutions. The Challenge teams consist of students ages 9 to 16 and engage in research, problem-solving, coding, and engineering through building and programming a LEGO robot that navigates the missions of a robot game.

The Hā Initiative’s Challenge Team from Kaʻiulani STEM Exploration Center placed 8th out of 51 teams competing in the robot games from across the state. The Explore Teams from both Kaʻiulani and Windward STEM Exploration Centers were also honored for their Team Model Builds and Lincoln STEM Exploration Center’s Explore Team was honored for Team Poster Design.

Just days before the competition, the Explore Team from Lincoln STEM Exploration Center was unsure if they would be competing at all. The team usually consists of only two members, and one of the students was unable to attend the state competition that weekend. Fortunately, FIRST Lego League would allow the remaining member, Alexis, to compete alone on her team’s behalf. Though she was nervous and had only two days left before the competition, Alexis agreed to present their project to the judges on her own. Her teammate and coaches helped her prepare a speech and get comfortable with delivering the entire presentation about the team poster, team model, and core values. 

During the event, each team presents in front of the judges without coaches or parents present. When Alexis came out of the judging room, she was excited to share that she was so comfortable presenting and answering the judges’ questions that she did not even need her notes. Thanks to Alexis’ hard work, her team was honored for best team poster. She was also awarded the FIRST Lego League Explorer medal for attending the competition. 

Congratulations to all of the Hā Initiative participants and coaches who competed!

Click Here to learn more about the Hā Initiative.

Early Head Start Dads in Action

During recent home visits, Early Head Start keiki Koa and Chunying worked on fun, educational activities with their dads. These activities are one of the many ways the Head Start & Early Head Start program encourages and facilitates fatherhood involvement. 

Koa and his dad enjoyed a bead stringing activity. During the activity, Koa developed his fine motor and hand-eye coordination skills while stringing each bead. His dad assisted with language development through verbally expressing the color of each bead and Koa’s hand movements, while also positively reinforcing his success. 

Chunying and her dad also engaged in an activity that developed these skills. Chunying’s activity involved twisting a bottle cap to retrieve plastic straws placed inside of the bottle. Chunying’s dad employed the hand-over-hand method to help her when needed. 

Both Koa and Chunying enjoyed learning and engaging in these activities with their dads!

Click Here for more information about Head Start & Early Head Start.

Kalaeloa District Client On Her Way to Success

Adeola, a program participant at HCAP’s Kumuhonua Transitional Living Center, first enrolled in Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Services in January. Through Nā Lima Hana, she was able to update her resume and begin job searching with support from Kalaeloa District Service Center Case Manager Jonathan Martin. However, after several unsuccessful job interviews, Jonathan encouraged Adeola to shift focus to improving her mental health before continuing to search for employment. 

Adeola began working on her mental health and started taking her medications consistently. “Her demeanor is much more upbeat,” Jonathan said, “and her coherence has improved dramatically.” In November, Adeola was ready to resume her job search. She inquired about attending a State of Hawaiʻi hiring event, and Jonathan informed her that he would be able to accompany her to the event in addition to helping her prepare with an updated resume and professional attire. 

During the event, Adeola carried herself well and engaged in conversation with various employers. “That is the first time [I] had seen that side of her,” Jonathan said, emphasizing the value of consistent mental health care in maintaining well-being. 

After the event, Adeola submitted an application for a State of Hawaiʻi internship program and was asked to return for an interview. Adeola’s interview is next week and she is hopeful that she will be accepted into the internship program.

Click Here for more information about HCAP programs and services.