Foundation launches whale-watching program for Maui County students
* Updated January 13, 5:08 AM
The nonprofit Pacific Whale foundation (PWF) has launched an innovative whale-watch program exclusive to Maui County students.
The program, called Keiki Whalewatch Plus One, teaches children about the importance of protecting the ocean and inspires them to practice responsible environmental stewardship. The floating classrooms are led by foundation education team members.
The new program allows children and teenagers to bring a parent or guardian on a weekend whale watch focused on exploring humpback whales in their natural habitat. It includes a customized 1.5-hour whale watch ecotour and take-home materials to learn more about the humpbacks and their marine environment.
The program is offered one Sunday per month in February, March and April and costs $40 for a student and one parent/guardian. Up to three additional students can attend with the adult for $15 each. Students must attend a Maui County school to take part in this program.
Maui County schools also have the option of participating in PWF’s original Keiki Whalewatch program designed for classes and school groups. This flagship whale-watch accommodates 50 to 100 passengers and includes optional lessons and activities for students to complete before and after the whale watch. Teachers will also have the opportunity to schedule a 15-30-minute live video Q&A session with a member of PWF’s Education team.
Trips are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 10:30 a.m. through March 31 in accordance with Maui’s whale-watching season. The cost is $13 per student and $20 for additional adults not within the recommended adult to student ratios outlined on the foundation website.
Introduced in 2020 and offered free to Maui County classrooms, the Virtual Keiki Whalewatch program brings the whales to students via one-hour live sessions offered weekly on Wednesdays and Fridays. The virtual program presents engaging footage filmed off the coast of Maui that simulates an in-person PWF whale watch and a library of online lessons that can be shared with students to enhance the program experience through hands-on activities.
The virtual program can accommodate up to 70 students and costs $50 per program. Maui County schools should contact [email protected] for a discount code when booking.
Visit https://www.pacificwhale.org/education/keiki-whalewatch/ to view availability and schedule programs.