Students in the forest in volcano while on aTeaching Change program
Iʻiwi feeding on purple flowers
A group of young students walking on a road near Puʻu Waʻawaʻa

Teaching Change offers overnight and single-day, immersive Field Courses to remote, native forest ecosystems for local middle and high school students. An important goal with these trips is to engage and inspire students to become environmental stewards by exposing them to the natural and cultural heritage of Hawaii’s native forest ecosystems, including the rare and endemic plants and birds that inhabit them.

Hakalau

We offer an immersive, two-day Field Course for middle and high school students at Hakalau Forest NWR, where participants gain hands-on experience in conservation. During an overnight Field Course, groups of up to 15 students and 2 teachers/chaperones engage in the following activities: tour a nursery supporting Threatened and Endangered plant species; assist with the propagation of native seedlings; plant native species in core restoration areas; participate in a native plant interpretive hike; observe endangered Hawaiian birds in their habitat; learn and practice how to observe plants and animals in a diverse Hawaiian ecosystem; and finally, learn about and collect phenology data on a range of endangered and common native plant species.

Grade Level
6th - 12th
Student Capacity
Up to 15
Duration
2 Days, 1 Night
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Puʻuwaʻawaʻa

We offer immersive, two-day Field Courses at Puʻuwaʻawaʻa for middle and high school students. During an overnight Field Course, groups of up to 15 students and 2 teachers/chaperones engage in the following activities: tour a plant nursery supporting Threatened and Endangered plant species; assist with the propagation of native seedlings; plant native species in core restoration areas; participate in a native plant interpretive hike; learn the moʻolelo Puʻuwaʻawaʻa; learn and practice how to observe plants and animals in a diverse ecosystem; reduce risk of fire by removing brush, and finally, learn about and collect phenology data on a range of endangered and common native plant species.

Grade Level
6th - 12th
Student Capacity
Up to 15
Duration
2 Days, 1 Night
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Kīpuka Exploring!

Kīpuka Exploring! Field Courses are day trips for 4th and 5th-grade students where we explore a local kīpuka on Kaumana Trail. A kīpuka is a forest isolated by lava that is usually much older than the surrounding area, which creates important habitat for native forest birds in Hawaiʻi. The kīpuka we visit holds a rich diversity of native plants and birds that make an amazing outdoor classroom for students to learn about natural history, biocultural resources, phenology and climate change. During this trip, students learn how to identify the different phenophases of ʻōhiʻa lehua in Hawaiian and English. Students learn how to identify native plants using their Hawaiian names, and what roles these plants take in the ecosystem. At the end of the trail, students explore inside the kīpuka and play “Kīpuka Bingo,” a scavenger hunt for plants, birds, and animals.

Grade Level
4th and 5th
Student Capacity
Up to 40
Duration
4-5 Hours
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Summer Biocultural Immersion

In collaboration with GEAR UP Hawaiʻi and the Honokaʻa-Kelakehe-Kohala-Konwaena educational complex, we launched week-long Summer Biocultural Immersion Field Courses in 2019. As part of the schools’ “Summer Bridge” programs, we developed an extended Biocultural Immersion Field Course in order to provide a more in-depth educational opportunity for summer school students. Participants in the Summer Biocultural Immersion Field Course walk away from the course with an understanding of mālama ʻāina efforts across Hawaiʻi Island.

Grade Level
6th-12th
Student Capacity
Up to 30
Duration
7 Days up to 6 Nights
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