This past weekend I had the opportunity to sail Hikianalia to Moku o Loʻe, more commonly known as Coconut Island, in Kāneʻohe Bay. We met a very passionate and knowledgable scientist named Mark Heckman. He talked about extinction quite a lot during our tour around the island and said “many people here are solution oriented” and “think out of the box.” It’s exactly what I hope future students will be; creative critical thinkers and problems solvers. He brought up the question, “Does it get to a point where we messed it up too much?” It meaning the environment... no one really knows the answer.
I find that every time you step on Moku o Loʻe you will hear a different story. Mark had a great way at making the island’s history interesting while also relating it to the projects they are doing today. Did you know that there’s a corrosion lab on the island? It tests whether or not products are able to withstand the elements.
This visit really helped me to see how The Sixth Extinction is related to STEMS^2, but was a more relevant example for me in how culture can be incorporated into the whole picture:
Pretty awesome projects going on! Mahalo nui to Mark and the Moku o Loʻe team for sharing your ʻike (knowledge) with us.
I think this is the first time I got to touch living coral!
Kumu Kaʻai previously taught at Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy and Hawaiian Studies at Wilson Elementary School to K-5 students.