Teaching Change in Changing Times

NREM-affiliated educational program expands its offerings

Teaching Change in Changing Times

The Teaching Change educational program was recently awarded two grants to continue running educational programs for students on Hawai‘i Island:

  • $27,000 from Battelle, a research institution that runs the National Ecological Observation Network, to develop an environmental education program for windward Hawai‘i Island AP Biology and AP Environmental Science students in the 2020–2021 academic year
  • $25,400 from the U.S. Forest Service Citizen Science Competitive Funding Program to support citizen science work focused on Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death for Laupāhoehoe Community Pacific Charter School high school students in the 2020–2021 academic year

Teaching Change is a collaborative partnership among the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, USDA Forest Service, and the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests. It focuses on natural resource management in Hawai‘i, career-connected learning, and student-led citizen science.

Partners include NREM’s Creighton M. Litton and program coordinator Blaire J. Langston, Christian Giardina in NREM and USDA Forest Serviceʻs Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry, and Rebekah Ohara of the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests.

Based on Hawai‘i Island, Teaching Change provides outdoor educational programming to 4th- to 12th-grade students via outdoor, immersive experiences at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Pu‘u Maka‘ala Natural Area Reserve, and Kaumana Trail.

Teaching Change during COVID-19

The program is working to develop online resources for at-home learning for students, teachers, and parents, including a new website with vetted high-quality curricula, lesson plans, and activities related to environmental education; “Virtual Huaka‘i” videos that provide a virtual Field Course experience while regular Field Courses are suspended; and a social media platform for online networking of the environmental education community across the state.

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