Because Our Keiki & Nā ʻOpio Want To Help Too

Open to 3rd-5th Graders

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund’s expert educators are available to visit your Maui and Hawaiʻi Island 3rd-5th grade classrooms to introduce topics such as ocean circulation, biology, marine debris impacts and solutions. The curriculum is designed to meet Common Core standards and was created with a 2014 NOAA Marine Debris Program award and continues with the support of Kona Brewers Festival. Students will present their own marine debris reduction ideas, come away with new ways to make a difference, and participate in a local cleanup event if possible.

Open to 6th-8th Graders

Our environmental educators are available to visit your 5th-7th grade classrooms (focused on Hawai‘i Island and Maui) to teach your students the science behind our fragile Hawaiian coastal ecosystems. Using a hands-on approach, students will use scientific equipment to perform data collection, analysis and hypothesis-based experiments while getting up close with living organisms from anchialine pools, coastal ponds, and estuaries. They’ll also have a chance to role-play to inspire others to reduce their eco-footprint. Field trips are available upon request as logistics allow. The curriculum is designed to meet Common Core standards. This program is made possible by a generous donation from the Massen Greene Foundation in memory of John DiFederico.

Our Keiki Know What’s Up

BREAKING NEWS:  In 2020, our environmental education mentors have been working hard to convert all our youth education programs to virtual platforms, so please check out our YouTube channel to see about our educational videos for both the Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach (MDKEO) and Hawaiian Coastal Ecosystems (HCE) lessons and activities.

Our young volunteers get the same opportunities as the rest of us, only with a bit more face-to-face time with our environmental education experts with our two formal environmental education programs. Thanks to the 2014 award from the NOAA Marine Debris Program for curriculum development our Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach (MDKEO) program for grades 3-5 was launched around 20 schools on Hawai‘i Island, which is now supported through private donations and Kona Brewers Festival awards and has branched out to Maui and even O‘ahu.  Mahalo nui to the Massen Green Foundation, in memory of John DiFederico, for their ongoing support of our Hawaiian Coastal Ecosystems (HCE) unit for grades 6-8.

We are also very excited to share our newest unit, Honu‘ea Ike: Hawksbill Sea Turtle Knowledge, that was made possible from a 2018 grant through the Dorrance Family Foundation. Part 1 is available below or directly from our YouTube channel at:

Contact HWF for more info on Youth Education

HWF Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach, MDKEO

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund’s Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach (“MDKEO”) education unit introduces students to ocean circulation, marine ecology, human impacts and other topics geared for students in the 3rd-5th grade.

HWF’s mentors work with teachers to coordinate student activities that meet the math and science benchmarks and “Common Core” standards for the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Education for each grade level. These in-class lectures conclude with student presentations of potential solutions to reduce marine debris in Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific Basin.

This MDKEO project culminates with a family or classroom “Beach Cleanup Day” at a local beach. This project was initiated through a HWF T-shirt fundraiser and through a 2014 grant from NOAA’s Marine Debris Program. It continues today with support from the Kona Brewers Festival and donors like you whose financial donations help us continue to educate the next generation.

Please click on the link below for the Summary Teacher Edition with downloadable teaching PDFs:
Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund: Marine Debris Keiki Education and Outreach (MDKEO) Program for grade levels: K-5

Youth Education – Classroom & Field