Ne'epapa Ka Hana

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. Ne‘epapa Ka Hana was designed to serve Native Hawaiian students through activities that celebrate the richness of Native Hawaiian culture. 

About NKH

Designed to serve Native Hawaiian students through activities that
celebrate the richness of Hawaiian culture.

Forty percent of students nationally are falling behind in high school mathematics due to poor preparation in 6th through 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 6th through 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.



k-12 teachers..

can teach inclusive classrooms with diverse learners


high school students..

receive poor preparation in middle school mathematics


students in hawaii..

fall below proficient level in mathematics


students in hawaii..

are socioeconomically linguistically, racially, and culturally diverse


STEM jobs..

Require postsecondary education or higher

STEMD2’s Educational Approach

Social Technology Education

Enable open and self-directed learning extending beyond the classroom and into students’ communities.

Allow students to find and process knowledge in their own way and define the value of knowledge in their own context

Empower students compete in proposing creative solutions, but collaborate to critically analyze their own or others’ ideas

Allow students to explore problems from different perspectives (social, cultural or political )

Help educators demonstrate the application of know-how and know-why in natural settings

Student Activites

By providing materials with culturally relevant concepts and terminology, students are much more motivated to learn in the classroom. For example, students in Hawaiʻi would much rather answer a statistics problem about Uncle Kimo and Kaimana surveying fish populations than Joe and Sue shoveling large amounts of snow off their windshield. By involving relevant scenarios, students can relate to the materials, and thus are intrinsically motivated to learn in the classroom. 

6th Grade Student Activities

7th Grade Student Activities

8th Grade Student Activities

Join our learning community where you can learn and discuss math activities with the STEMD² community

Our learning activities, located on our community platform, aim to allow students an opportunity to share their understanding with other participating students in a safe online environment.

Teacher Feedback

[This program] is something that all teachers and especially new teachers in Hawaii should have. Not only does it involve math for general education students, it can also be used in planning for teachers who work with those students with special needs.

––SPED Teacher

Teacher Feedback

I have already seen significant improvement in student learning in my classroom because my kids are more engaged and challenged.

––8th Grade Math Teacher

Teacher Feedback

I’ve taken quite a few PD Courses over the years, but I can honestly say this has been one of the best PD Courses for not only myself but my students as well.

––3rd Grade Teacher


Teacher Feedback

Part of the reason for the huge achievement gap in Hawaii is the lack of support available for our marginalized and special needs students.

––8th Grade Mathematics Teacher 

 STEMD² R&D Group

Center on Disability Studies, College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Department of Management Information System, San Diego State University

Institute for Human Development, Northern Arizona University

Office: 1410 Lower Campus Rd #171F, Honolulu, HI 96826


School Partners

Katie Gao  Publication Designer

Kelly Roberts  Project Director 

Kiriko Takahashi  Project Director 

Hye-Jin Park  Project Director

Greg Harris Implementation Specialist

Tsun Jaeryn Chu ICT Specialist

Misa Maruyama  ICT Specialist

Michal Hron  Design Specialist

Lauren Ho  Content Specialist

Remy Pages  Assessment Specialist

Milena Ordonez  Design Specialist

Maile Evans  Design Specialist

Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘O Ānuenue

Nanakuli High and Intermediate School

Kalakaua Middle School

Aiea Intermediate School

Jarrett Middle School

Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School