CyberFair Project ID: 2360

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: What do we know about the Kaneohe watershed or ahupua'a?
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness
Bibliography: No bibliography page cited

School: Mokapu Elementary School
    Kaneohe, HI, USA

100 students, ages 8-12 year olds worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 31, 2003. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2002

Classes and Teachers: Nena Mossman, Lauren Apiki, Patricia Fraser, Beth Wolff, Aileen Arashiro, E-4, F-2, Na Pua Noe'au

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Kane'ohe Watershed is 11,500 acres. It is a wet area with lush vegetation. Average rainfall from this watershed is about 40 to 60 inches. Most of the rainfall from this watershed falls from November through February. Heavy rains are very common. Since the watershed boundry is the Pali cliffs, which are very steep, rainfalls is very rapid.

Kane'ohe ahupua'a was once a gathering place for a large population of Hawaiians. There are many myths about the area and many places along the shoreline of Kane'ohe Bay were sacred. There were heiaus (temples), large villages, and fishing shrines. The primary community in this watershed is the Town of Kane'ohe near the southeast end of Kane'ohe Bay.

Kane'ohe has gone through major urbanization. The town's population rose from 5,400 in 1940 to 30,000 in 1960 and 67,000 in 1990. The increase in population was due to the construction of the Likelike and Pali Highways which linked Kane'ohe to Honolulu. Presently, with the H-3 highway, the town's population will continue to grow.

2. Summary of Our Project

Our essential question for this project is "What do we know about the Kaneohe watershed or ahupua'a?" This project consisted of the past and present uses of the land and waters around it. The children in third grade researched how the ancient Hawaiians explained through their mythology how their land and beliefs were developed. They learned how the ahupua'a was divided depending on its function. They took a field trip to a preserved fishpond to understand its significance in the ancient Hawaiian culture. They also researched the importance of the heiau or temple in this ahupua'a.

The 5th grade students focused on how the ahupua'a has been impacted from ancient times to the present. They looked at the developments of major roadways, housing, schools, parks & recreation, churches & cemeteries, fishponds of today, the Kaneohe Marine Corp Base Hawaii, business, industrial and preservation areas.

Our website shows how we have greatly changed the Kane'ohe watershed over time. Streams have been diverted and wetlands have been filled in. It is important that community members develop an awareness of how various activities impact the health of our ahupua'a and the need to sustain the wellness of our watershed.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

There were problems we had to overcome with this project. The main one was the lack of information that was geared for elementary students. The student's prior knowledge of the local community and history was minimal. The fifth graders had learn how to extend their research skills beyond textbooks. Student web building skills were developed in the computer lab which required an extended access to the lab. Teachers did not always feel confident providing tech support for students in the lab.

We overcame these problems by teaching the students how to do searches on the internet in the lab and to validate their information. Teachers had to help the younger students interpret the information. Once the information was gathered and written, students learned how to storyboard their webpages with the help of Lauren Apiki, project developer. Students were taught web authoring skills as they produced their webographies (author's page). So when they came to the lab to build their webpages, they were already familiar with the tools and software. Teachers were flexible in their schedules to accomodate the extended periods of lab time for the web development. The full days in the lab allowed us to complete sections of the website in one day.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

"When I worked on this great project, I learned about the Kane'ohe watershed and how to use the computer to build a webpage. It really pulled me in and I wanted it to never stop!" Grade 3 Student

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

Our project covered many content standards. They were: Language Arts: Students use rhetorical devices to craft writing appropriate to audience and purpose.; Science: Students make decisions needed to sustain life on Earth now and for future generations by considering the limited resources and fragile environmental conditions.; Social Studies: Students understand culture as a system of believs, knowledge, and practices shared by a group.; Fine Arts: Students identify, understand, and apply the elements and principles of art using the language of the visual arts.; Career and Life Skills: Students demonstrate respect for others in class and work cooperatively as a team member on class projects.; Educational Technology: Students use technology tools to create appropriate multimedia products and presentations appropriate to own development; work as a contributing member of a team when using technology in the classroom; use keyboard commands, menu commands, toolbars, and other navigational tools in the operation of software that extends beyond minimal functions; and use technology tools (g.g multimedia authoring) for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publshing activities to create knowledge products for audiences inside and outside the classroom.

They increased their knowledge of the local community in and around the Kaneohe Marine Base. They gained a historical and environmental awareness of the Kaneohe ahupua'a.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

We used many traditional and technological tools to implement this project. We used books from the community libraries, paper and pencil, websites, computer software (HyperStudio 4, QuickTime Pro, Claris Home Page, Simple Sound, GifBuilder, QuickTime VR Authoring), computer equipment (iMacs, digital camera), telephones, and experts. All the technological tools were available in the computer lab.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

Together students are now "ambassadors" of their watershed as a result of there established knowledge. Through this we are planting the seeds of good citizens.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The main value of this project was learning about what a watershed is and how their watershed affected the ancient Hawaiians, as well as, the community today. This project will be showcased at our school's curriculum fair where parents and the community can view and comment on the students' work.

This webstie was built with the community as our audience. We are building watershed awareness through the eyes of our students who are the future community members.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Students visited a Hawaiian fishpond that's still in existence in Kane'ohe to see what one actually looks and feels like. The community volunteers at the Waikalua fishpond talked to the students about the history, pond life, and preservation activities taking place there. Some students made phone calls to businesses to gather information, such as the manager of the Koolau Golf Course, who was very impress that elementary students are building a website.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Students learned that they need to validate their information, especially if the information is gathered on a website. The content needs to be as accurate as possible. They also discovered how important collaborative and cooperative skills are in completing a group project. Groups that had problems with cooperating among each other fell behind in their work. Those that worked well together accomplished their part of the project and produced a quality webpage.

Teachers realized what a valuable assest they have in Lauren Apiki, project developer. Mrs. Apiki brought out the best in the students, showing them how to bring out their creativity in their illustrations and reinforcing the importance of the content, as well as, teaching them how to be web authors.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 2360)

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