Read the June 2018 Friends of Hakalau Forest Newsletter for an article about Teaching Change

Based out of Hilo, Hawaiʻi, ​​​Teaching Change aims to inspire local youth to be environmental stewards and to pursue post-secondary educations and careers in Hawaiʻi in natural resource management.

We accomplish this via four ways: 

1. Monthly Field Courses
2. Bi-annual Teacher Training Workshop
3. Annual Conservation Career Day Event
4. Annual Bio-cultural Blitz Event
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I'iwi ( Drepanis coccinea) being fed nectar after having been banded by USGS staff and before being released back into the wild, as curious Teaching Change students watch.

About Teaching Change
Teaching Change is a collaborative program that seeks to inspire local youth to be environmental stewards and pursue post-secondary educations and careers in Hawaiʻi in natural resource management. Our partnership includes the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, the Friends of HakalauForest National Wildlife Refuge, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, and the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests. Since Teaching Change’s inception in 2012, we have been connecting local students and teachers to the unique, endangered birds and forest ecosystems in Hawaiʻi, as well as the threats these natural places face and what is being done to manage these threats. 

The Teaching Change program provides transformative experiences, career connected learning and professional development opportunities to students, their teachers and aspiring educators that are place-based, experiential and STEM-oriented.  Teaching Change integrates Hawaiian cultural practices and viewpoints into our curricula. Biocultural perspectives encourage a valuable outlook for both the future professional and personal lives of the youth who participate. Activities such as kilo (observations) and oli (chants) help orient and connect Hawai‘i’s youth to the land and the culture of the Hawaiian islands. The names of places, native plants, and native animals, are incredibly important in Hawaiian culture. Our programs increasingly teach using the Hawaiian language for native species and the natural environment. Through career connected learning, we provide access for students to the tools, resources, and knowledge required to secure a position in the conservation or natural resource management field. Importantly, teachers that participate in our programs gain hands-on teaching experience in outdoor, immersive education, and knowledge of on-the-ground conservation as well as core concepts in environmental science and conservation with options to secure Professional Development experience (with Hawaii DOE PDE3 credits).

Accomplishments
From December 2012 to November 2018
we have reached:

1,319 students via Field Courses
60 teachers (students) via Teacher Training Workshops
6,460 participants via Conservation Career Day (with Earth Fair)
500 students via Bio-cultural Blitz 
166 students via Conservation Career Choice Classes

Totalling: 8,505 students!