About NKH

Ne‘epapa Ka Hana (NKH) is a three-year project awarded by the Department of Education, Native Hawaiian Education Act Program (Award # S362A140018). It is a technology-enabled training model to improve inclusive mathematics pedagogy. Forty percent of students nationally are falling behind in high school mathematics due to poor preparation in 8th grade mathematics. Studies have shown that success at this level has a direct effect on students pursuing STEM education and has also been proven to be an excellent predictor of college entrance. For these reasons, our model aims at increasing engagement and achievement of 8th grade students in mathematics through improved attitudes and persistence, 21st century learning (deeper thinking allied with information and technology literacy), and confident mathematics proficiency. These goals will be reached by developing and testing socially and culturally responsive problem-based learning strategies. Implementation is supported by ongoing professional development for mathematics teachers and online collaborative learning network for all students. Ne‘epapa Ka Hana was designed to serve Native Hawaiian students through activities that celebrate the richness of Native Hawaiian culture.


The project’s teaching model incorporates two strategies: (a) socially and culturally responsive (SCR) education and (b) problem-based learning (PBL). SCR education enhances social interaction as well as learning and innovation through affinity, social harmony, cultural understanding and democratic ethics. By valuing diversity (e.g., societal, cultural, racial, disability) as a source of knowledge contributing to personal, and social development, SCR addresses achievement gaps under a new paradigm. PBL emphasizes learning through the experience of problem-solving. Therefore, SCR + PBL = valued diversity in classrooms fostering climates that allow students to engage, as reflexive leaders, in solving real-world problems. In addition, the online collaborative learning network facilitates sharing of common interests, ideas, and feelings, acknowledging everyone’s part and rights in a dynamic online community of learners.



Limited participation in STEM puts Hawai‘i economy at a disadvantage. Improving students’ performance early on in mathematics and STEM courses will increase aspiration, participation and completion in market competitive STEM careers. That trend will benefit the community at large and make Hawai‘i a more attractive choice for STEM related ventures.

Professional Development

Inclusive Mathematics Pedagogy Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Culturally and Socially Responsive PBL

Instructional Coaching

Teachers Learn from Students Differentiated Mathematics Instruction Contextual Mathematics Learning

Social Learning

Social Learning Theory Practicum Connectivism Applied to Mathematics Implementation of Learning Network

Special Education Supports

Equitable Mathematics Pedagogy Accessibility for Diverse Learners Networks for Diversity


Ne‘epapa Ka Hana inclusive strategies are: (a) Aligned with eight Standards for Math Practice and Content; (b) Designed based on GoMath 5Es: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate & Evaluate; (c) Supports SBA requirements; and (d) Develops 4Cs (21CLS): Communication, collaboration, critical thinking & creativity. Ne‘epapa Ka Hana will help your mathematics pedagogy and class management by adapting to student specific needs and on-call support.By using NKH virtual learning environment on STEMD2 platfrom, you will engage all students, distributing considerable authority over where, when, and with whom they learn.


Improve your mathematics and leadership skills in a smart way. You will build your skills in real-world settings and we have designed a curriculum more relevant and applicable to your life. Do you like social media? Through Ne‘epapa Ka Hana you will use a collaborative learning network (a.k.a.,, social networking technologies), where you will develop solid mathematics knowledge while collaborating with other students, sharing questions, ideas, and solutions, linking learning objectives and problem-solving across subjects and trying new approaches to get real-world projects done.


Ne‘epapa Ka Hana offers access to tools and knowledge necessary for whatever job field you are dreaming for your child. The project emphasizes 21st century learning and leadership skills. These will have a long lasting impact on your child’s life. Ne‘epapa Ka Hana will connect over 40 classrooms and benefits more than 5,000 students, concluding the first wave of the project.



Kukui Keeno — Cultural Adviser

Cody Kikuta — School Renewal Specialist (Farrington)

Misa Maruyama — ICT Specialist

Michal Hron — Web Developer and Designer

Nawa'a Napoleon — Cultural Adviser

Kiriko Takahashi — Intervention Specialist

Sara Podlewski — School Renewal Specialist (Roosevelt)

Remy Pages — Evaluation Specialist

Kimble McCann — PD Specialist

Mark Partoriza — Web Application Development

Katy Parsons — Education Specialist

Lauren Ho — Content Specialist

Katie Gao — Content Specialist

Ryan Kāmeha'i Abregano — Cultural Adviser

School Partners

Ke Kula Kaiapuni 'O Ānuenue

Nanakuli High and Intermediate School

Kalakaua Middle School

Aiea Intermediate School

Jarrett Middle School

Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School

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Project Sponsor Project Director Project Team Project Partner