O‘ahu Environmental Science Series

O‘ahu Homeschool Science Series

2131 Makiki Heights Drive, HNL |  808.955.0100 x126Homeschool@HawaiiNatureCenter.og

Hawai‘i Nature Center offers an on-campus science series with each class that build upon each experiential lesson. Created to bring together homeschool students, ages 6 to 11, the weekly 6-hour sessions on Wednesdays are live, in-person and teacher-led. It includes learning in the Makiki rainforest as well as field trips. Incorporating State of Hawai‘i Next Generation Science Standards, the curriculum explores a broad range of topics led by environmental educators. Topics include: animal lifecycles, freshwater ecosystems, food webs, sound, electricity, colors in nature, invasive species, volcanism and more.

View & Download the Fall 2024 Course Outline

Fall 2024 O‘ahu Homeschool Science Series | For Ages 6 to 11

This semester is sold out.
September 4 – December 11, 2024 | Weekly on Wednesdays from 8:30 am (drop-off as early as 8:15 am) to 2:30 pm
Full Semester: $1,200 (all 14 weekly classes) | Individual weekly classes are not available for purchase
No class will be held on October 9th due to Fall Nature Adventure Camp.

If sold out, please contact Homeschool@HawaiiNatureCenter.org to be wait-listed for the series. Include the number of children you wish to enroll and best contact phone number.

This semester is sold out.

Fall 2024 Lessons Overview

September 4 – December 11, 2024. No classes will be held on October 9 due to Nature Adventure Camp.

September 4: Practice devotion
Devotion to gratitude, mindfulness, and deepening connection with nature as students get to know each other and Makiki Valley.
September 11: Lichens & Island Formation
How are volcanoes formed? Are there different types of lava? What can live in volcanic environments? How are volcanic environments around the world alike and different?
September 18: Hawaiian Top Snails: Fossils in Hawai‘i
What is a fossil? How are they formed? Why are they important? Why doesn’t Hawai‘i have many fossils compared to the mainland? We’ll answer these questions and more in our adventures.
September 25: Yellow-Faced Bee: Hawai‘i’s Special Insects
What are native and endemic species? What is island biogeography? What do scientists do that specialize in this fascinating topic? Why are these little bees important, and what adaptations help them survive in an island ecosystem?
October 2: Sweet Potato: Polynesian Arrival to the Islands
What are canoe plants? How did they get to Hawai‘i? As we learn more about canoe plants, students gain knowledge about their significance to Hawaiian life and culture.
October 16: Wiliwili Tree: The State of our Watersheds
Where are our watersheds on this island? What exactly do they do? Why does it matter that we keep them healthy? What is the traditional land division of an ahupua‘a?
October 23: Importance of the ocean to Polynesians
Listen to Hawaiian legends about ocean species like the Humuhumunukunukuāpua‘a and marine ecosystems. What lessons and wisdom are being passed on through these stories?
October 30: Common Mynah: Urban Birds
How is urbanization affects wildlife? Where birds such as mynahs, pigeons, and zebra doves introduced from? Do creatures like these do well in the cities we build? What are some of the pros and cons of cities?
November 6: Banana: A Bunch of Travelers
How have bananas made their way to Hawai‘i and other parts of the globe? In what ways do people use this one special plant? We’ll explore this and more – and maybe even sample them.
November 13: ‘Auku‘u: Shrinking Wetlands
Today we study the plight of wetland birds. Why are wetlands such special habitats? Why should we protect them?
November 20: Humpback Whales and Migration
In what ways can we learn and be inspired by whales? What can they teach us from their migration patterns? What other creatures do we know that migrate? Why do they behave in this way?
November 27: Māmaki: Medicines from Nature
Where do the medicines we use come from? Why is Māmaki so important throughout Polynesia? What conservation efforts are happening to protect these medicinal sources?
December 4: Black-tipped Reef Shark: A Study of Microplastics
We’ll examine the life of plastics and what effects they have on the state of oceans worldwide, as well as how we can be better ocean stewards.
December 11: Hawaiian Island Ecosystems: Bringing it All Together
Celebrate the last day of the semester with island ecosystems that work relentlessly to support us. Using all we’ve learned, identify ways to move forward in the best way for our precious environment.

Gear Up & Get Ready

  • Eat a hearty breakfast.
  • Wear clothes and closed-toe (hiking or athletic) shoes that can get wet and dirty.
  • Put on mosquito repellent and sunscreen at home.
  • Leave anything expensive, valuable, or fragile at home.

What to Pack Daily

  • Small backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Morning snacks and a big lunch (no refrigeration)
  • Extra change of clothes, raincoat/poncho and water shoes
  • Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • COVID facemasks (optional)

REFUND & CANCELLATION POLICY – SEMESTER  If enrollment is canceled 7 days or more prior to the program’s start, you will receive a refund less a $100 cancellation fee per child and associated administrative-processing fees. If enrollment is canceled within 7 days of the program’s start or up to 6 weeks after the program has begun, Hawai`i Nature Center will refund 50% of the program fee per child. HNC memberships purchased during enrollment will not be refunded. There are no refunds after the end of the sixth week of the program. No refunds or makeups for individual classes missed.

THIRD-PARTY REGISTRATION POLICY  Hawai`i Nature Center does not accept third-party registration or registration on behalf of other friends or family. The registering child’s parent or guardian must be the individual to complete and submit all registration information. If we determine that a third party has completed your child’s registration, registration will be cancelled and we will refund your tuition. A $50 cancellation fee per child per week and administrative-processing fees will be charged.


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