by Shari Chan
Eigth grade students at Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate school are required to take as a social studies class, American People and Problems. Part of the required content of the course is to study the government and its process. The students enrolled in the course discovered first hand how a bill becomes a law rather than just reading about it in their social studies textbook.
The students began by looking at the newspaper for the bills being introduced in this years Hawai'i legislature. One bill that caught their interest was a bill introduced by the chairperson of the House Transportation Committee, Keith Hiraki. This bill proposed a change in the process of getting a license for teenagers. If the bill became law,teenagers could not get their full license until they were 18 years old.
The eighth graders began a letter writing campaign to Keith Hiraki asking the committee to not allow the bill to be voted into law. They also circulated a petition and collected signatures. These letters and the petition were forwarded to the chairperson.
In addition to the letter writing, the students planned a trip to the capitol to check out the progress of the bill. While at the capitol, they met with Representative Eve Anderson and Quentin Kawananakoa who talked to them more about the process of making a law. They also had the opportunity to visit the governor's chambers.
The students went to the technology center at the capitol and traced the progress of the license bill, and found out it was killed in committee. After the experience, many students felt they understood the process of democracy much better and they also realized each one of us can make a difference.
Invention Madness at Waimanalo School
Waimanalo School eighth graders participated in the Waimanalo School second annual Invention Convention on March 23rd at the school. To compete in the competition students had to invent something that met a problem they encountered daily. The students had to research their invention, make a display board describing the procedures they used and build the invention. The winner of the Waimanalo School competition goes on to the district and state competitions.
Winners at the school level were:
First Place: Hayley Cuban for her Tag A Long--a combination dust pan, cart and trash bag carrier.
Second Place: Devenish Chang for his Oil Ring--a ring of feathers used to absorb oil spills on water.
Third Place: Sherron Makaike for her Grease Disposal which provides an alternative for grease being poured down the drain.
Honorable Mentions went to Rodney Choy Foo and Tovia "Kalani" Auala-Ellis for two different shoe covers. Both were designed to prevent expensive athletic shoes from becoming damaged or dirty.
News from the Waimanalo School SCBM Council
On Wednesday night, Ferburay 21, the WEIS `Ohana and the SCBM council hoseted a talk story meeting about modifying the school year schedule. This topic, is commonly called, Year Round Education, and is the foucs of study for this year's SCBM council. These are some of the points that were raised by those who attended:
* Why is it called year round school when there are no more added days of school?
* Children will not forget over the summer and teachers will not need to review.
* Academics will imrpove.
* Students may get added instruction if there are intersessions.
* Reduces summer boredom.
* Vacations will be at different times so people may have difficulty getting off from work.
* Kailua High School has a different schdedule which makes it hard if older siblings watch younger siblings.
* Hard to tell which students are truant.
* No need to find summer programs for children.
* Family vacations will be shortened.
* Cleaner break between quarters.
Other questions to be addressed are:
* What kind of year round schedules exist?
* What benefits do we get from year round?
These qustions, concerns and benefits will continued to be talked about, researched and foucsed on. Stayed tuned for more information, come to a discussion meeting, talk about year round education with your friends and family. Join us in finding out if changing the school year calendar is for WEIS! If you have any comments, please contact the SCBM council chairperson, Charles Naumu at 259-7263.