IEI program: more teachers, higher success rates

KIHEI, HAWAII — MEDB’s Women in Technology recently announced that its Island Energy Inquiry (IEI) workshops are now reaching greater number of teachers across Hawaii with greater success rates than ever before.

Over the last year, 125 STEM teachers from nine IEI workshops experienced an 85% success rate in launching and sharing results from curriculum-based labs and activities.


IEI is a place-based, culturally competent Professional Development (PD) program that educates K-12 teachers on renewable energy resources and incorporates STEM-focused, engineering design solutions. Educators then use this scientific inquiry method in the classroom, encouraging students to critically problem-solve, ask relevant questions about the subject matter they are learning, and successfully apply theoretical concepts to real-world challenges through hands-on learning.

One teacher summed up her classroom experience in this way:

“Some of my students who are typically behavioral problems and rarely complete their assignments actually became really engaged by this experience. In fact, a few of them ended up taking leadership positions, and debated against other teams. I will incorporate as much of this as possible into my classes to help students have a deeper, more meaningful learning experience—leading to greater student achievement.”

As demand increases in Hawaii, the IEI educational model has also attracted national and international attention. In May 2013, IEI was tasked to adapt the course for an Asia Pacific cadre.

Since WIT began the program on the island of Maui in 2009, IEI has expanded its reach to the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, and Hawaii Island, educating a total of 266 teacher participants representing over 44,000 Hawaii students.