Ka Leo

Lower school ventures on learning trips

Aina Katsikas, Reporter

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Fourth and sixth graders took their annual spring trips to the neighbor islands while fifth graders went to Camp Timberline.

The visit to Hilo and Kona on the Big Island continued fourth graders’ learning about Hawaiian culture and legends as students visited historic sites, including Volcano National Park and Puu Honua O Honaunau, a historic place of refuge.

Students hiked through lava tubes at the park and toured heiaus such as Puu Kohola. On the hike of the Manaulu and Devastation trails, students studied lava rocks, ohia lehua and hapuu ferns.

“I liked going into the lava tubes because it was dark and scary. I learned that the lava travels through the tubes,” said fourth grader Marley Lee-Saavedra.

Kumu Pohai Souza and assistant Carol Young accompanied the classes and taught more about the Hawaiian culture during the trip.

“Students learned from park rangers, listened to moolelo by Aunty Pohai and Aunty Carol, prayed, chanted, sang, danced hula and worked on their iPads. It was immersion in history, culture and friendship,” said fourth grade teacher Michelle Tuzon.

The fifth grade classes ventured to Camp Timberline in Makakilo where the focus was on exploring the environment and participation in team-building activities.

“The girls faced their fears head on as they took risks and worked together in groups to solve the challenges of the low rope elements,” said fifth grade teacher Sheila Banigan.

Students engaged in outdoor activities, hiking and nature lessons. They also took part in a high rope “multi-vine” course, morning “polar bear” swims and a low rope “Mohawk walk” course. The 24-foot rock climbing wall was a highlight of the weekend.

“I liked going to the pool and sleeping in the horse stables because I love horses. I learned that challenging your fears can teach you more,” said fifth grader Alyssa Brouwers.

Sixth graders toured Kauai for three days returning just before spring break. They  observed science in action by studying landforms and erosion at Waimea Canyon.

The classes also did service work on the trip by working in a Hawaiian fishpond and taro field with the Waipa Foundation. They also worked to clear ginger plants, an invasive species, at Kokee State Park, Hui O Laka.

“My favorite part was observing the Waimea Canyon because I like to look at beautiful landscapes and observe  natural features. I learned mostly about erosion,” said sixth grader Kate Ruiz.

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Lower school ventures on learning trips