The Hawai‘i Nature Study program, originally conceived and developed by Sister Edna Demanche in the 1970s, was always popular with Hawai‘i teachers because, unlike the science textbooks available to them, it provided inquiry-based activities focused on Hawai‘i’s local plants and animals.
CRDG’s Carol Brennan, a member of the original team that worked with Sister Edna, is updating the program for a new generation of teachers and students. “While much has changed, the activities continue to be engaging for students,” Brennan says. The popular environmental education program includes classroom and outdoor, hands-on, problem solving activities and investigations focused on Hawai‘i’s natural environment and the plants and animals students encounter on their school campuses, in their neighborhoods, or in nearby coastal areas.
The program’s goal is to provide useful resources, so the new edition—online beginning in 2011—will be a book of ideas that teachers can adapt as needed to fit their grade levels and locations.