”Returning to teach at Mid-Pacific was my dream.”
Jordan Tani ’04
Middle School, Science
By Stacy Yuen
Jordan Tani ’04 and his students discovered an interesting fact last year: Double Stuf Oreo cookies don’t have twice the filling as regular Oreos.
The COVID-19 pandemic tasked science teachers to find creative laboratory alternatives.
“We needed to limit hands-on experiments,” explains Tani. “So students looked up nutritional information, studied pictures and anticipated weight based upon observations. I demonstrated with a digital scale and we discovered that Double Stuf Oreos only have 1.75 times the amount of frosting as regular Oreos, not two times.”
In his third year of teaching at Mid-Pacific, Tani grew up in Foster Village and attended Mid-Pacific from the seventh grade. A scholar-athlete, Tani played football, basketball and baseball.
“With my love of sports, I thought I’d study journalism or communications,” he explains. “But after my freshman year in college I worked in the (City & County of Honolulu) Summer Fun program and realized I loved working with kids.”
Tani earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a Master’s in Education (Teaching) from Hawaii Pacific University. He returned to UH Mānoa to earn a Master’s in Education (K-12 Leadership).
While studying for his master’s degree at UH Mānoa, he became licensed to teach all core subjects – Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Science. He has taught at Kahala Elementary, Waipahu High School, Saint Francis School, Maryknoll School, and Kawananakoa Middle School.
Primarily focused on teaching social studies, Tani began teaching STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Science prior to applying to teach science at Mid-Pacific.
“I never thought I would leave social studies, but seeing the need for science education and remembering my science classes at Mid-Pacific being super fun, I figured science would be an opportunity to grow my repertoire of teaching skills,” he recalls.
He has found his niche and enjoys engaging with middle school students.
“I tell my students that science is not about finding the right answers, but about going through and experiencing the process,” he explains. “I like perpetuating that spark of curiosity in them. Every student has the potential to impact the world. It’s a matter of finding it and bringing it out of them.”
Tani says returning to Mid-Pacific is like a homecoming.
“I’m very fortunate and blessed to be in this position,” he says. “I never imagined being here this early in my career. Returning to teach at Mid-Pacific was my dream.”