University Laboratory School Students

The Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG) in the UH Mānoa College of Education (COE) is recruiting a new cohort of middle and high school teachers for its next series of Our Project in Hawai‘i’s Intertidal (OPIHI) professional development workshops. Last spring, OPIHI teachers and students took 32 field trips to intertidal locations on five islands.

A marine ecosystem that is covered with water during high tide and exposed to air during low tide, the intertidal is composed of a community of organisms uniquely adapted for the challenging living conditions that come from being alternatively submerged and exposed. OPIHI trains middle and high school teachers to rigorously monitor the rocky intertidal with their students. Together, they collect scientifically valuable data on an understudied, but culturally important, ecosystem while being engaged in the scientific process and learning more about their environment.

“OPIHI is a great example of a CRDG project as students and teachers learn science by doing science,” Assistant Specialist Joanna Philippoff said. “Teachers appreciate the real-life experiences and opportunities for their students to learn and act like scientists in the field.”

Funded by a COE Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Improving Teacher Quality grant, OPIHI has had significant educational, scientific, and societal impact over the past 10 years. Their findings reveal participating teachers and students have shown improvement in content and skills knowledge, critical thinking and investigative skills, and knowledge of ecological concepts and conservation issues.

Professional development workshops consist of online sessions as well as in-person workshops on O‘ahu, Maui, Kaua‘i, and the island of Hawai‘i. Travel assistance is available for teachers from other islands. Teachers receive supplies to implement OPIHI in their classrooms, a $150 stipend, and are eligible for three Hawai‘i Department of Education PDE3 (Professional Development:  Educate, Empower, Excel) credits. Applications are due by October 31st. Contact Joanna Philippoff at philippo@hawaii.edu for additional information.

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