April 16-17, 2003

Malama I Ka Wai A Me Ke Kai

(Care for the Water and the Sea)



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Hawaii's children experience swimming as a common past time; they swim in fresh water mountain pools, fresh water streams, and the sea. However, children are seldom aware of the life forms in these bodies of water.


Our field trip allows the 6th graders to consider the limited resources and fragile environmental conditions in Hawaii. It allows first hand experiences in the exploration and observation of the common plants and animals that live in our tropical waters. Students are introduced to scientific classification such as phylum, genus, and specie.


Our first stop is the River Street Mall. At this area, there is an urban, inner city stream that reflects its environment: low income apartment buildings, high rises, and many people. The students conducted water quality tests and temperature readings of the water samples.

The next stop is Kewalo Basin. We wore old tennis shoes or rubber tabis. At this site, we did the water quality, took temperature readings, and wrote a description of this location and make a sketch of this location.

We set up a specimen pond by spreading out a plastic sheet with a few heavy rocks on the edges of the mat to hold it down. Everyone added their ocean creatures.

Upon returning to school, large tables are moved outside on the lanai. Several pans of water are set up for rinsing the algae and getting them ready for pressing. After they were dried, the pressings were labeled. Here students are introduced to the terms phylum, genus, and specie.

The next day, we visited our neighboring community and analyzed the 'auwai. The 'auwai system was a significant part of the entire water system of the Nuuanu ahupua'a which runs from the Pali down to the harbor.