The Ala Wai Watershed Project

One exciting example of how ‘Iolani students are conducting real world research is the progress of the Ala Wai Watershed Project. The project was started in 2010 by beloved biology teacher Papa Jack Kay who recently retired after teaching at ‘Iolani for 50 years. Along with teacher Teresa Shimamoto and then students Iris Kuo ’12 and Mark Grozen-Smith ’11, Papa Jack had a vision for fixing and understanding what was in the school’s own backyard. The project has evolved even further and now under the guidance of teacher and researcher Dr. Yvonne Chan and University of Hawaii stream biologist Cory Yap, students are conducting more extensive research on the Ala Wai Canal in collaboration with the University of Hawaii and area schools. To support the research, teachers Gilson Killhour and Martin Emde led students taking Robotics and Fabrication and Design classes in the design and construction of a remote controlled boat called the Ala Wai Cat designed to take water quality measurements.

Does your school do something similar?

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