Maui Teachers Benefit from Haleakalā Earth Day Workshop

April 23, 2014, 3:20 PM HST · Updated April 23, 5:14 PM
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Fenceline. Photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

Fenceline. Photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

By Maui Now Staff

More than 30 Maui County teachers specializing in Science Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM subjects, were treated to a full-day workshop at Haleakalā National Park as part of an Earth Day partnership on Tuesday.

Under the collaborative effort between the Hawaiʻi Department of Education Maui District and Haleakalā National Park, teachers explored different methods of teaching STEM curriculum to students.

Park officials say Haleakalā biologists were on hand to provide teachers with information on the endangered nēnē population, including monitoring techniques, feral animal management, and maintenance of ungulate-proof fence lines.

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Park biologists also demonstrated techniques for conserving rare plants through seed propagation, according to a Park press release.

Greenhouse. Photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

Greenhouse. Photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

Teachers were also treated to a behind the scenes look at an ongoing climate change experiment involving tests on the drought tolerance of the threatened Haleakalā `ahinahina or silversword plant.

Earlier this week, county officials announced that three of the specimens from the greenhouse were being sent to South Korea for an international horticulture show, marking the first time the plant has left Haleakalā since 1992 when it was federally listed as a threatened species.

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“The park visit occurred after a daylong STEM workshop on Citizen Science, in which teachers explored different technologies in a classroom setting,” the announcement said.

“The teachers and park staff hope workshops like this will bring real science and active stewardship ideas back to the classrooms,” said Polly Angelakis, the park’s chief of interpretation.

Old nēnē nest. Photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

Old nēnē nest. Photo courtesy Haleakalā National Park.

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