Transition Math Class Students Give Back

This fall, students at Pearl City High School are engaging in a fun and creative project to give back to their community using the skills they learned in their Introduction to College Math course. Students were tasked with coming up with a business plan to sell a t-shirt for a non-profit organization that included creating a design and developing a financial and marketing strategy. Groups presented their concepts before a panel of judges consisting of representatives from various non-profit organizations, members of Hawai‘i P-20 and HIDOE. The winning teams selected will have the opportunity next semester to create and sell their t-shirt with the profits from the sales being donated back to the organizations.

The non-profit organizations being represented in this project are the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i, Special Olympics Hawai‘i and the Hawaiian Humane Society. “This project really allowed students to see how math can be used to make an impact for the greater good when applied in real life,” said Daphane Okunaga, teacher of the transition math course.

These organizations also walked away with new ideas on how to raise awareness about the important work that they do. “We saw great work come out of these students. It has been exciting to be part of this non-conventional class project, from facilitating presentations about the Hawaiian Humane Society and animal welfare, providing mentorship to students during their project development, to seeing their projects come to fruition and choosing a winning design. It is great to see a school implement this type of project into their curriculum.” said Shayna Vi of the Hawaiian Humane Society.

“The projects the students created were amazing and beyond our expectations.We are thankful for the opportunity to have our younger generation of learners provide us with insightful ways to generate awareness of the community need for blood by using their 21st Century skills including collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication,” said Kim-Anh Nguyen, President and CEO, Blood Bank of Hawai‘i.

Currently twenty schools statewide are offering the math transition course, which is designed to help prepare students to enter college-level math when they graduate from high school.