Watershed Investigations, Research, Education, and Design

WIRED Program
A PAF ‘Ohana program funded through grants from NOAA B-WET and EPA Environmental Education that takes place during the school day.

Kilo Kai Marine Science Club
A project of PAF ‘Ohana that meets Sundays at HIMB

Kilo Kai is a free extra-curricular ecology club for high school students of Windward Oʻahu. Run through PAF’s WIRED Program and Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology’s Center for Community Education.

Our focus is to improve ecosystem health through bio-cultural restoration. Students will learn techniques to assess stream, soil, and reef health, and collaborate to conduct their own research.

Cost: None. Students may also earn UH college credits for free!

Activities: Interactive online lessons, snorkeling surveys, stream surveys, piloting drones/ROV’s, 3D mapping, microscopy, genetic work, field trips, and more.

When: Sundays from 09:45 AM to 1:15 PM

Where: Regular meetings will occur on Moku o Lo‘e (Coconut Island). Field trips to Windward Oʻahu sites will include loʻi kalo (taro farms), loko iʻa (fish ponds), streams, reefs, and coastal areas around Kāneʻohe and Kailua.

WIRED connects!  You’ll work with teachers, university researchers, under graduate and graduate students, private and public sector entities such as the Department of Land and Natural Resources

WIRED contributes! You’ll be involved in real, current and important environmental research projects.  Wired students collect valid scientific research data and share with state, federal and academic agencies.

WIRED provides opportunity! Students access science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines through technology, culturally-relevant curriculum, and outdoor watershed educational experience. We prepare students for secondary and postsecondary STEM courses and pathways, teaching practical skills like data collection and analysis, and monitoring impacts from anthropogenic and natural sources.

 Video by Kelsey Yap, a graduate of Waianae High School. Video made as part of WIRED and the SI/HIMB UAS program.

What is WIRED?

The WIRED Program will connect students to current, ongoing, leading edge science investigations in the bays, streams, wetlands, ponds, and ocean of their school’s ahupua`a. Teachers will gain experience in leading water quality, bio-assessment, and ecological investigations where students gain appreciation for the scientific inquiry process and research level data sampling methods, as well as the design of sampling devices and habitat restoration tools. WIRED will also work with the teachers’ curriculum and pacing guides to implement innovative and best-practice teaching strategies that bridge in-and out-of-school activities. This will additionally increase the teachers’ comfort and knowledge of providing and developing higher level inquiry driven and hands on lessons. The nature of the Program will develop sustainable partnerships between scientists, educators, and community stakeholders to improve STEM instruction in Hawai`i schools.

Each school will be supported to study the environment of the local ahupua`a, pose questions about their observations, identify both anthropogenic and natural challenges posed to the watershed, with particular attention to the impact of climate change, including sedimentation, elevated temperatures leading to bleaching of coral populations, acidification, high nutrients from non-point source pollutants, and marine debris. Each school’s ahupua‘a and watershed provides a challenge for students to investigate the issues and assess the threats to a sustainable ecosystem. Students and teachers will gain connections to current research efforts in their school’s wetlands that provide the opportunity to conduct service learning project and enable students to give back.