Ka Papa Kai: Ocean Science for Kids
Through our personal experiences and outreach efforts, we found that many of our North Shore keiki weren't familiar with the MLCD--a spectacular, natural outdoor classroom right in their front yard! We developed a youth program called Ka Papa Kai (seaside class), a series of fun, hands-on, educational workshops for children that focus on marine science, environmental stewardship, and Hawaiian culture. We offer a school-year cohort, which currently brings together 20 children from Sunset Beach Elementary School to the MLCD once per month during the school year to learn about the watershed, marine species in different ocean zones, the coastal environment, human impacts to the environment, and how they can help to take care of it. We also offer a one-week summer day camp for about 35 children.
Our Director of Educational Programs has developed the curriculum, which meets Hawaii State Standards, and has developed pre-tests and post-tests for each session to assess the program. Students learn in multiple ways through the program--presentations, in-water exploration, hands-on games, reading, writing, and art--using all of their senses in a setting where the daily weather and wave conditions become part of the lesson.
Based on the success of our first 1.5 years of Ka Papa Kai, we would like to expand the program to reach kids who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the ocean on the North Shore. MPW will offer four- to six-hour ocean science workshops to groups from around O‘ahu. Our goal this year is to host at least six groups, reaching 72 additional children and youth. MPW will reach out to groups through its existing networks in addition to other potential interested groups such as the Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA programs, and more. MPW will offer a choice of themes based on the Ka Papa Kai curriculum and will offer a choice of dates on a first-come, first-served basis. We expect participants’ ocean science knowledge to increase by 90% per test scores.
Funded by Oahu, HI (July 2013)