Outdoor Science Education Program Seeks Teachers
Teachers are currently being recruited by The Kohala Center for the its Hawai’i Island Meaningful Environment Education for Teachers program, an innovative, hands-on, science-based program that provides a focus on bay and watershed education in ahupua’a along the Big Island’s leeward coast and Kohala Mountain.
Student participants will step outside the classroom and study the traditional Hawaiian mountain-to-sea land divisions firsthand through the program.
“This program is a great opportunity for teachers to lead their students in field-based hands-on environmental science research projects,” said Ilene Grossman, environmental educator and program leader with The Kohala Center. “Teachers will be able to train their students to be citizen scientists and contribute to the knowledge and stewardship of the island’s ecosystems.”
The primary learning focus will be placed on the ahupua’a through classroom presentations and field trips. The identification and implementation of a scientific research project on coral reefs, forest flora and fauna, water quality, climate change, non-point source pollution, runoff, sedimentation, and marine debris will also take place within the program.
At the end of the year, students and teachers will share their research work and learning at a conference.
Teachers who have previously participated in the program are welcome to apply again. According to The Kohala Center, special focus is placed on intermediate and high school teachers in Kailua-Kona, North and South Kohala, and Honoka’a, including public, charter, and private schools.
Sixteen teachers will be selected to participate in the program. The Kohala Center will provide those individuals with technical, logistical, and programmatic support to the selected teachers during the academic year. The teachers will also receive support from scientists and cultural experts working in these areas through classroom presentations and project support.
Through support by NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training Program funding, mini-grants will be available to participating teachers to purchase project-related supplies, and the program will fund transportation and substitute teach costs associated with their projects.