Recognition of Rene and Art Kimura for Their Contributions to Public Education
The State of Hawai‘i Board of Education today presented Art and Rene Kimura (pictured, center) with a special certificate of recognition for their leadership in, and enduring commitment to, space, robotics, and science education.
Twenty years ago, Art and Rene Kimura created Future Flight Hawai‘i, a space-themed educational program, while Art (former teacher and school administrator) was assigned to the Office of Space Industries, part of the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. When that office was closed in 2002, the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium adopted Future Flight Hawaii as the centerpiece of its K-12 educational programs where it continues to grow and touch the lives of so many. With their ongoing affiliation with Hawai‘i Space Grant, the Kimuras have created a whole host of educational and public outreach activities that have already reached an estimated 150,000 students, their parents, and teachers.
The Kimuras' work includes K-12 educational programs, science nights, courses for teachers, grants, and participation in local, national, and international engineering educational programs. (For a sampling of programs visit Future Flight Hawai‘i, Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Day, Astronaut Lacy Veach Day, Robotics in Hawai‘i.)
Robotics has become a core theme in the State's initiatives to provide Hawai‘i students with world-class analytical and problem-solving skills developed through Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. Art and Rene Kimura have been instrumental in bringing robotics to our schools. They have received many honors for their tireless work in bringing these innovative educational opportunities to the State's students, including recognition by Governor Linda Lingle who, in her 2008 State of the State Address, called Art Kimura the father of Hawai‘i robotics.
Additional background on the Kimuras' work with Hawai‘i Space Grant can be found in the cover story from the 2008 issue of Nā Huaka‘i, our Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium newsletter.
With warmest aloha, we congratulate you!