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Middle School Courses (Grades 6-8)

2016 Course Offerings

Period 1: 8 a.m.-10 a.m.

Garden Gastronomy: The Art of Cooking and Eating From the Garden

Delve deep into HPA’s Ulumau Garden! In this hands-on course, students will learn how to grow, harvest and prepare healthy snacks and meals from fresh, whole foods. Weekly cooking lessons will feature smoothies, dressings, sauces, and main dishes. Students will develop their own recipes using the ingredients they find growing in their gardens.

Introduction to Algebra II Trigonometry

This course follows the mathematics curriculum delineated by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Increased emphasis is placed on reading comprehension, problem solving, and the use of functions as tools for modeling real-world situations. Some of the topics in this course include: solving linear and inequality functions, graphing and solving linear systems in two-dimensions, matrices, and quadratic functions with complex numbers.

The Science of Creative Writing

In this creative writing course, exploratory lessons will awaken student imaginations and passions for both STEM and creative writing, encourage identity with scientific endeavors, and make both science and writing fun. These hands-on creative writing lessons will foster discovery, deep learning, and rich inquiry skills. Whether exploring fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry, the overriding goal will be to make scientific principles relevant to students’ lives and inspire them to explore STEM topics further. For example, in the “How to Write Science Fiction” workshop, students learn to apply scientific principles and their own imagination to create enthralling stories.

Three Dimensional Art

Students will create three-dimensional art and solve problems with three-dimensional solutions. Topics of study will include some sculpture pieces and functional design pieces. In the course, students will learn the elements of design and incorporate these into their three-dimensional works. Students will work with a variety of media including recycled materials. Students will be expected to work daily in the art studio and participate in regular group critiques.

Period 2: 10 a.m.-Noon

Algebra 1

Algebra I focuses on the essential topics for competence in Algebraic manipulation. This includes solving equations and inequalities, graphing and interpreting linear and quadratic functions, application of the laws of exponents and exponential equations, and computation of polynomials. Algebraic thinking skills are developed through a variety of classroom activities, including group and individual investigations, hands-on manipulatives, real-world problem solving, projects, class discussions, and utilizing technology.


Ceramics is one of the oldest forms of archaeological findings on record, remaining timeless and eternally sparking inspiration in artists worldwide. This medium has the ability to take many forms and mimic surfaces such as wood and bone. In this class, students will create their own anthropomorphic forms. In addition to their sculptures, each student will compose a story to further explain their creature. Our only limitation is our imagination. Students will explore pinching, coiling, slab and wheelwork, and carving. Course work will conclude with the students photographing their work for a collaborative book of the class’s sculptures.

Decode the Code

Learn a programming language that is challenging and rewarding! Coding is a sequence of instructions that specifies how to perform a computation. Students will be introduced to a high level language which is commonly used in industry for controlling robots, collating data, creating applications and games. Students will learn to think and plan in a progression of short, simple and very concrete steps. After initial teacher led lessons, students will start with small projects leading to larger tasks which will test their understanding and allow them to gain confidence and seek even greater challenges.

Digital Photography/Yearbook

Dive into your passion for photography as you find inspiration amid the rolling green hills of the Kohala Mountains, the crystal blue water of Hapuna Beach or the cowboys and cowgirls of Kamuela! In this class, students will be armed with digital cameras and shown the magic of Hawaiʻi Island for them to capture and share. Together we’ll take plenty of candid shots to create a yearbook of Hawaiian memories the students will carry with them long after they leave the island.

Period 3: 1-3 p.m.

Capture the Big Island

Gain a basic understanding of photography techniques and nature photography. Students practice and acquire confidence in the field as the Hawaiʻi Island reveals its natural beauty and breathtaking scenery through the lens. Inspired by their fieldwork, students work together to capture images and to develop special projects.

Required: To participate in this class students must have their own digital camera and USB cable or memory card reader.

Food, Culture, and Fun: Foodie Tours Around the World

Hawai‘i is an amalgamation of many cultures, and through this class, students get a glimpse into different parts of the world. Students will embark on a cultural journey that includes the exploration of music, language, art, and food. Each week students will explore a new theme and culture. Students will experience the culture and cuisine of Japan, India, Latin America, and Hawai‘i.

Limited Edition Printmaking

Create your own unique, limited edition print designs inspired by nature, tradition and craft of the Hawaiian culture. Students in this art course will learn various printmaking methods such as block carving and bamboo stamps to transfer their original designs onto textiles and paper. Dyes will be extracted from natural materials from local resources.


In this course, students will build electronic circuits, control these circuits through code and then use the circuits as integral parts of a mobile robot. Teacher led introductory sessions will progress to small group, project-based efforts which will test the students' understanding and perseverance. Students will learn to think like a computer scientist, with a strong emphasis on problem solving. Additionally, collaborative skills will be developed to enhance team efforts needed to successfully compete with other groups.

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