About the trip:
"Huaka'i" is the Hawaiian word for "journey". The WCHS Hawaii Marine science trip is a 16 day journey to the Hawaiian Islands in which students may choose to take a marine science course or SCUBA certification course. While on the trip, students spend time in the classroom, doing labs at the beach and in the water, and going on daily field trips. Some labs include fish identification, coral reef zonation, a night time and daytime tide pool lab, and a wave lab in which students will hike down to a black sand beach. In addition to learning about the marine environment, students are immersed in traditional Hawaiian culture with tours of ancient Hawaiian sites and guest speakers. Some of the tours and sightseeing include snorkeling, visiting a black sand beach, star gazing at Mauna Kea Observatory, going on a submarine ride, hiking the volcano flow at Kilauea, and much more.
Where is the trip?
The first 14 days of the trip will be spent on the Big Island of Hawaii. Students will stay at the Hawaii Preparatory Academy( http://www.hpa.edu/). This is also where classes will be held. The final 2 days of the trip will be spent in Maui where students will have the opportunity for some shopping and site seeing before returning home.
Who can go?
Current 8th-11th graders are eligible to go on this trip.
What are the requirements for eligibility?
Students must have taken and passed Biology with a score of 82.5% (average of both semesters) or higher prior to the trip departure. Students must also be in good standing with WCHS student code of conduct. Other class grades will also be reviewed and taken into consideration. Parental permission, as well as proof of insurance and good health, are requirements for participation in the program.
What is the cost?
The cost varies from year to year based on always changing airfare. The estimated cost for the next trip is $4,500. This price includes all room and board at HPA, airfare, all meals at HPA while on the Big Island, and fees required for some field trips. The additional cost required outside of this total includes the purchase of snorkeling gear, money for meals in Maui, checking of bags at the airport, and any spending money students wish to take.
What are the benefits of going on this trip?
This trip will earn students 1 science elective credit at WCHS. Grades will be based on classes prior to the trip, the grade earned at HPA, and a final reflection paper grade. In addition to earning credits, this trip is a great opportunity for anyone interested in marine science. However, it is much more than that. On this trip students will experience a culture different than their own. They will meet new people. They will gain a better appreciation for the environment. They will see sacred Hawaiian places that are not open to the public. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and life changing for most.