Maui Teen Scholarships Available for Hawai‘i Island Science Camp

May 16, 2014, 10:57 AM HST · Updated May 16, 11:03 AM
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Mililani High School sophomore Kalena Chiu holds a turtle from the Mauna Lani Turtle Restoration Project in Kona. Courtesy photo.

Mililani High School sophomore Kalena Chiu holds a turtle from the Mauna Lani Turtle Restoration Project in Kona. Courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Hawai‘i-based nonprofit, Science Camps of America, is offering two scholarships specifically for Maui teens, to assist them with 50% of registration costs for attending one of two science camps on Hawai‘i Island this summer.  

The camp sessions are 10 days and feature six or seven travel days.  The camp is designed for island teens entering grades 8 to 12, who have a passion for science.

Families interested in learning about the program and educational activities planned are invited to meet organization leaders this weekend at the Summer Camp Fair taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 17 at Queen Kaahumanu Center.

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“I was inspired to start Science Camps of America in what was truly a ‘walking in the woods’ moment,” said Michael Richards, camp founder and executive director in a statement announcing the scholarship funds.

Campers hiked through the lava fields of Kalapana last June.

Campers hiked through the lava fields of Kalapana last June.

“I was hiking with my grandchildren and realized that sharing my love of nature and science with those two boys was just the best thing ever. And if I loved sharing it with them, and they loved learning it, then why not do the same for dozens, hundreds or even thousands of young people?” said Richards.

The camp home base will be at the Pāhala Plantation Cottages in Kaū on Hawai‘i Island.

Activities include exploration of beaches, rainforests and mountain environments with some of the destinations including: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; Mauna Lani Sea Turtle Restoration Project; Mauna Kea Visitor Center; USGS Mauna Loa Climate Observatory; and the Punaluu Black Sand Beach.

There are two camp sessions planned including the following:

  • June 29 to July 8, 2014, Land and Sea Session: the focus will be on volcanology, geology and oceanography. Campers will explore Hawaii’s unique flora and fauna and learn how events in the natural world affect every living creature, including humans.
  • July 8 to 17, 2014, Air and Space Session: the focus will be on astronomy, climatology and alternative energy. Campers will gain a better understanding of climate change and the creation and use of alternative energy to help curb global warming.

According to the announcement, Richards sold his local software company in 2010 and tapped his former geology teacher, Dr. Floyd McCoy, to be the nonprofit’s director of education and help create the camp’s curriculum.

McCoy is a professor of geology and oceanography at Windward Community College, and is originally from Hawai‘i Island.

According to the camp website, the registration fee for each session is $2,395 and includes transportation to and from either Kona or Hilo airport.

Individuals interested in the scholarships can apply online at the Science Camps America website.

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