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Hawaiian Electric donation to Honolulu Museum of Art supports arts & science education

Hawaiian Electric has contributed $15,000 to the Honolulu Museum of Art in support of the exhibition Inquiring Finds, which connects science and art, currently on display at the museum's Spalding House location in Makiki Heights. Part of the donation also provides for school groups to tour the exhibit and participate in hands-on learning activities.

"About 45 schools from across Oʻahu as well as schools from Kauaʻi and Molokaʻi will experience our Inquiring Finds: the science behind the art exhibition this spring semester thanks to the Hawaiian Electric grant," said Bradley Capello, museum educator. The exhibition showcases art pieces -- from pottery and photography to lighting and mechanical sculptures -- while explaining their origins in science. Inquiring Finds was developed by the museum's education curator Aaron Padilla and a team of teaching artists to serve as both a resource for educators as well as a learning tool for students.

For Andrea Charuk, one of the museums' teaching artists, the concepts in the galleries and the hands-on activities help students to understand the world around them. "Children are visual learners. Art allows self-expression, and also helps with spatial reasoning and problem solving," she said, noting that "... learning happens everywhere if we observe and ask questions."

Holomua Elementary School in Ewa Beach was one of the schools to send about 200 students in the 5th grade to Spalding House. For teacher Erin Imamura, exhibitions like Inquiring Finds are invaluable resources. "The exhibition adds interest to our existing curriculum and my students are able to make the connection between art and other subjects like science," she said. "The other benefit of going on the school tour is the hands-on activities. The supplies for the make-and-take projects are already provided, and my students do better and learn more from these experiments," Imamura added.

"I saw cool things that I've never seen before and had a great time!" said an excited Anahi Guerrero, 7, of Mauka Lani Elementary in Makakilo. "The view from here is nice and this is the coolest place," echoed fellow student Jeina Bright, 9. "I also learned that certain metals are used to make the pottery different colors and how pottery was made in the olden days." For Elijah Semeatu, 9, understanding the science behind photography held its own fascination. "I want to come back and bring my whole football team to see the dark box and upside down image," he exclaimed.

Inquiring Finds runs through July 6, 2014 at Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House. Teachers interested in a school group tour may call Jenny Engle, teacher liaison, at 532-8771 to reserve space. For more information about Inquiring Finds or to contribute to the museum, visit

About Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO)
For more than 100 years, Hawaiian Electric Company has provided the energy that has fueled the islands' development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern state. Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO), and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (MECO), and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), serves 95% of the state's 1.2 million residents on the islands of O`ahu, Maui, Hawai`i Island, Lana`i and Moloka`i.

The energy we use is an essential but limited resource necessary to maintaining our quality of life. In a changing world, Hawaiian Electric has evolved to offer more than electricity.

Today, the company also provides energy solutions to help customers save money and use energy more efficiently. Hawaiian Electric also continues to pursue the use of more clean, renewable energy alternatives to help ensure a sustainable future for our islands.


Hawaiian Electric Company is dedicated to our community in which we live, work and serve. Rooted in Hawaii and one of the largest companies in the State, Hawaiian Electric takes the concept of malama pono -- to care for and serve -- to heart. The company and our employees have a long tradition of contributing with dollars, time and talent. Corporate citizenship is crucial to Hawaiian Electric's overall business plan because strong communities are essential to the success of the company, our employees and our customers.

Company and employee volunteerism is encouraged and every month, employees walk, run or provide manpower to dozens of non-profits throughout the State. Hawaiian Electric's corporate giving philosophy gives priority to projects that help families, promote education and protect the environment.

The company also sponsors robotics programs and events that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education, as well as the SunPower for Schools program bringing solar electric power to select schools, the Solar Sprint event where students design, build and race cars using solar power, and the Home Energy Challenge, a school-based competition encouraging elementary school students and their families to reduce energy use at home, among other programs.

For nearly a decade, Hawaiian Electric volunteers have provided manpower, bucket trucks and ladders to install Christmas lights at the Kaimuki Community Park and playground before the annual Kaimuki Christmas Parade in December.

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