66. Hawaii’s Living Treasures, Art and Rene Kimura

What does wise school leadership look, sound and feel like? How do we, as a nation, unleash the creativity, the imagination, the innovation that we seem to know already exists in every kid from birth? What’s the core idea behind the creation of K-12 pipelines to fields in STEM and space? Why work so hard to create these pipelines for kids? What does it mean to live effectively in a human made world? Profoundly impacted by the Challenger disaster, twenty years ago, Art and Rene Kimura created Future Flight Hawai‘i, a space-themed educational program, while Art, a 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 Hawaiʻi 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,  Art and Rene have created a whole host of educational and public outreach activities that have reached an estimated 150,000 students, their parents, and teachers. Their 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 Google search online for Future Flight Hawai‘i, or Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Day, or Astronaut Lacy Veach Day and/or Robotics in Hawai‘i. Former Hawai’i Governor Linda Lingle, in her 2008 State of the State Address, called Art Kimura the father of Hawai‘i robotics, which is epic. In 2015 Art and Rene were named as Living Treasures of Hawaiʻi. The Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium posted the following comment online in that moment: “The HSGC ohana extends our heartfelt congratulations to Art and Rene Kimura upon being named Living Treasures of Hawai‘i. Among six recipients, the Kimuras were recognized as visionary educators and proponents of science. Bestowed by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i, the Living Treasure Award recognizes and honors individuals ‘who have demonstrated excellence and high standards of achievement in their particular fields of endeavor, and, through their continuous growth, learning and sharing, have made significant contributions towards enriching our society.'” As always, post production and original theme music was provided by Daniel Gilad at DG Sound Creations. Please stay safe, everyone! Wear your masks and for the love of the gods, please get vaccinated.