Swimmable and Fishable in 7 Years

This unit focuses on bioremediation and the Ala Wai Canal, but is designed for middle school students who may not know what those things are. I wrote this unit primarily because many of my students come from military families, and many of them did not know what the Ala Wai Canal was either. To spark student interest, the beginning lessons are designed to be more hands-on and conceptual.
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Standards Aligned

Next Generation Science Standards, Social Studies (C3), Common Core ELA, Na Hapena A'o, International Society for Technology in Education

Community Partner(s)

The main community partner for this unit is the Genki Ala Wai Project, a non-profit organization that works with schools. The organization educates teachers about bioremediation, and shows them how to apply the technology by making mud balls called Genki Balls. They also help coordinate visits to the Ala Wai Canal, where participants can throw their Genki Balls into the canal to help digest the sludge. Two other important community partners are the Waikiki-Kapahulu Public Library, and the Waikiki Community Policing Team. They provided facility use, and ensured safety when visiting the canal.

Essential Question

How can we encourage others to care?

Enduring Understanding

  1. It can be difficult to pinpoint the sole cause of a problem.
  2. Problems can have more than one solution.
    1. There are multiple ways to address the Ala Wai Canal’s pollution.
    2. There are multiple ways to encourage people to care.
  3. Changes to the physical environment affect populations.

Learner Level Middle

Primary Content Science, STEM, Technology