Beach clean-up promotes service learning

More than 140 eighth-graders at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School took to the beaches late last month, to give a helping hand to their community and the land.

As part of a school-wide push to promote service learning and responsible citizenship, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School students on the Hui Lokahi team scoured Lydgate, Salt Pond, and Shipwreck beaches for debris that accumulated following the heavy rains of March and April.

In addition to cleaning up the beaches, students used skills learned in science class to transect a specific plot of beach, meticulously recording the debris found in that area. Students also took water samples, measuring pH levels and fecal coliform counts to see just how clean the waters of Kaua’i truly are.

The information recorded in each transect was used to create graphs highlighting trash trends at each beach. Debris data was recorded by students on forms provided by the Ocean Conservancy. This interdisciplinary unit of study will be used as part of a learning fair project engineered by the Hawai’i Networked Learning Communities.

Following the beach clean-up, students spent time exploring Kaua’i attractions often overlooked by local residents. One group of students toured the Agricultural Research Station, another visited the Allerton Gardens, and a third group went on a guided exploration of the Kauai Coffee fields.

This is the third year the beach clean-up project has been undertaken by the eighth-graders.

Plans for next years outing are already underway.

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