Categorized | Education, Environment

Deadline for outdoor science education program Sept. 7


Big Island students and their teachers will have the chance this year to leave the classroom and study firsthand ahupuaa (watersheds) of West Hawaii.

The Kohala Center is launching HI-MOES, or Hawaii Island Meaningful Outdoor Education for Students, an innovative hands-on science-based program that focuses on bay and watershed education in the watersheds of the Kona coast and Kohala Mountain.

“This is a great opportunity to get students and their teachers out of the classroom to learn about watersheds and how we as humans affect the ecosystems within our ahupua‘a,” said Samantha Birch, field educator and program leader with The Kohala Center. “Students can create real research projects in which they make observations, collect and analyze data and present their results to their peers at a conference,” she said.

HI-MOES aims to provide students and teachers with outdoor education experiences and support for hands-on research projects in their ahupuaa that will be tied to their classroom activities and curricula. 

HI-MOES will culminate in a year-end conference where selected students and teachers can share their research work and learning.

Two outdoor educators – Birch and Melora Purell of the Kohala Watershed Partnership – will provide technical, logistical and programmatic support to 10 selected teachers from West Hawaii during the academic year. 

Scientists and cultural experts working in these areas will also participate in the program through classroom presentations and project support.

Students will learn about their ahupua‘a through classroom presentations and field trips, and then identify and implement a scientific research project to work on throughout the year, such as measuring water quality components in different parts of the watershed, studying non-point source pollution, run-off, sedimentation and marine debris that finds its way to the ocean. 

Mini-grants will be made available to participating teachers to purchase project-related supplies, and the program will fund transportation and substitute teacher costs associated with their projects.

The HI-MOES program will focus on intermediate and high school teachers but participation is open to any teacher in West Hawai‘i, regardless of her or his subject area.

The program registration deadline is Sept. 7. 

If you would like more information or are interested in applying, please contact, call 887-6411, or see…

This project is in partnership with The Kohala Watershed Partnership and is supported by NOAA B-WET funding.

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