Educator Profile    Educators

Masaru Uchino (HI '16)


Momilani Elementary School
Pearl City, HI

Subject(s) taught: Social Studies, Science, Mathematics
Grade(s): 3

At the time of the Award, Masaru Uchino was:

Momilani Elementary School
Pearl City, HI

Subject(s) taught: Social Studies, Science, Mathematics
Grade(s): 3

Biographical Information

The community at Pearl City's Momilani Elementary sees third-grade teacher Masaru Uchino as a modern-day Pied Piper: Wherever he leads, students, colleagues and families are eager to follow. In the classroom, students are captivated and motivated by his philosophy: "Do your best, be your best." Uchino uses a wide array of technology and methodologies to teach math, including computers, Promethean Boards, digital recordings, blogs and music. He also incorporates technology into the student journalism club, in which members research local stories and produce video podcasts that are distributed on the school's network server and blog.

Uchino, who worked for a Japanese automotive racing parts manufacturer before entering the classroom, brings real-world STEM experience to his students. For a three-day winter science camp, Uchino worked with an engineer to create a course around the four forces of flight; during a two-week summer science camp, students designed and built boats powered by rubber bands. Last year Uchino developed a unit in which students used concepts of reflection and refraction, angles and area to engineer a light maze. The National Science Teachers Association has recommended the unit for inclusion in its NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) curriculum.

Uchino is deeply embedded in the Momilani community. He is one of the first people on campus each morning and among the last to leave. Committed to seeing every student succeed, Uchino offers tutoring sessions after school and during intersession breaks. Since 2007, Momilani's third-graders have scored at least 25 points higher than the math meridian on the standardized Hawaii State Assessment exams, which can be attributed to Uchino's vital role in the classroom. A member of the student community council, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) committee and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), he is the grade-level chair for third and fourth grades. Uchino writes, produces, scores, choreographs and directs the annual third-grade drama production, which is aligned to the curriculum with plots like Kingdom of the Water Cycles.

Uchino is passionate about getting kids moving and coordinates the school's Great Aloha Run, Hawaii 5210 "Let’s Go!" Keiki Run, Ford Island Bridge Run 10K, Jamba Juice Banana Man Chase 5K, and Wahiawa Pineapple Run 10K, as well as serving as head coach for Momilani's "Fit Factory," an after-school fitness group. When a student asked Uchino to help him prepare for the Honolulu Marathon, the pair trained together after school and on weekends, then ran the race and crossed the finish line together.

Uchino earned a Bachelor of Arts in social studies, with a minor in educational studies, in 2001 from the University of California, Irvine, and a Master of Education in educational technology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2011.

Press release: STEAM Powers Innovation as Masaru Uchino of Pearl City, Hawaii, Earns 2016-17 Milken Educator Award and $25,000 Cash Prize


Related Connections

Milestone: Masaru Uchino (HI '16) Wins PAEMST Award

Article: Spotlight: Masaru Uchino (HI '16)

Educator Quote:

"Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are..." (read more)

Masaru Uchino Newsletters

MEA Surprises in HI, CA, TX
Feb 10, 2017

Masaru Uchino In The News

UH Alumni Earn Highest National Award for Math and Science Instruction
University of Hawaii  |  Aug 06, 2018  |  Honolulu, HI

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching - Masaru Uchino
National Science Foundation  |  Jun 26, 2018  |  Alexandria, VA

Hawaii Teachers Win $25,000 Milken Educator Award
The Washington Times  |  (Via AP)  |  Feb 03, 2017  |  Washington, D.C.

Listen - Milken Educator Award Winner: Masaru Uchino
KANO-FM  |  NPR  |  Feb 03, 2017  |  Honolulu, HI

Watch: Two Hawaii Teachers Receive Prestigious Milken Educator Awards
KHON-TV  |  FOX  |  Feb 02, 2017  |  Honolulu, HI

Watch: National Award Recognizes Pair of 'Exceptional' Hawaii Teachers
KGMB-TV  |  CBS  |  Feb 02, 2017  |  Honolulu, HI

Momilani Elementary Teacher Masaru Uchino Receives Prestigious 2016-2017 Milken Educator Award
My  |  Honolulu, HI