To build long-lasting connections with the science we are learning each day, we have included activities at Science Camp that enrich the total experience. Here is a look at how we are doing that.
Enrichment through Hawaiian Culture
Through Hawaiian language, art, culture, dance, music and history, our intent is to better understand the threads that link us to the past and to the future in this place. Many of the issues we face today – energy, sustainability, climate change, natural hazards, sea level change – were just as critical to the Hawaiians of old. Understanding the approach an island people used to deal with these issues can be related to finding the ways that our ‘island’ planet will do the same.
Using photography, videography, art, drawing, music and dance is a powerful way to deepen the understanding of the environmental science that our campers will be studying. Visiting a volcano is a great learning experience, but how does it make you feel? How can you share with others how you felt while hearing the harrowing story of a tsunami survivor? How does a photographer capture a feeling? We want our campers to find ways to express themselves and to share those expressions with others. Our specialists will be helping our young scientists learn.
Enrichment through Nature
As human beings we are wired to connect with nature. Study after study shows that being outdoors is a benefit, no matter what activity it is. At camp we will almost always be outside. What recharges you? Is it the beach? the ocean? walking through the forest? hiking in the desert? The Big Island offers so much variety, including volcanoes, mountains, forests, deserts and beaches, that we are going to have continuous chances to connect and re-connect with the great outdoors.
Enrichment through Camp Life
Attending camp has so many benefits for the intangibles that are so critical today: leadership, confidence, teamwork, to learn to fail and to try again, to help others, to expand one’s horizons. These are what are called ’21st century skills’ but camps have been teaching these skills since the 1860’s. And, naturally, making new friends, exploring new places and having fun.
Here is how it comes together…
We hike from camp to the shoreline through a wild coastal plain of old lava flows, scrub brush and lowland forest. As we walk, we learn about the plants we are seeing, the climate that allows this environment, and the forces that created this coastline. When we reach the ancient Hawaiian trail known as The King’s Trail, we learn about what we are seeing and hear tales of myth and history as we continue our hike along the coast. We find a remote cove where we can stop and have lunch, take videos and pictures or draw, study the topography of the land. We talk about explosive volcanism and what we are seeing around us, and then we look for and measure evidence of changes in sea level in the past. After hiking back, we work together to assemble a multimedia video about the day, including video clips, photos, music and voice-overs. Before turning in for the night, we post the video on the Science Camp community website so our families and friends can log in and see what we did today.