Five for Friday: Dare to Explore Hawaii

National Geographic Kids recently announced the winners of its Dare to Explore Oahu contest.  Four lucky students were selected from over 1000 contestants to join Digital Nomad Andrew Evans on a week-long trip to the Hawaiian island of Oahu.  
The winners are:
  • Sarah, 13, of Florida
  • Anya, 13, of Ohio
  • Liam, 10, of Wisconsin
  • Ella, 9, of Indiana
To enter competition, the kids were asked why they’d like to explore the capital island of Oahu, and what they thought they would see there.  Learn more about the Dare to Explore Oahu winners here.

View from He’eia State Park, Oahu, Hawaii.
Photo courtesy of Phong Phan, MyShot.
In recognition of these young students’ achievements, let’s do our own exploration of Hawaii-virtually!

1. Map it.
Start by printing a Hawaii MapMaker One-Page Map, with customizable map elements including borders, place names, and other features.  This great MapMaker tool can be used as a simple coloring activity, a mini-quiz, or a more advanced exercise in map design.
Hawaii MapMaker kit.png

Map courtesy of NG Education.
2. Learn about traditional cast-net fishing (video, article, activity).
Next, explore one of the most enduring Hawaiian cultural traditions, cast-net fishing, through our featured photo.  Hawaiians have used cast-net fishing as a sustainable mode of survival for centuries, and it continues to flourish today.  Learn more about the history, styles, and even topographical issues associated with cast-net fishing, by reading this article we found on Livestrong. com, “Net Fishing in Hawaii.” 
Good students of geography know that, historically, people have lived along coastlines throughout the world, and Hawaii is no different.  Learn more about Why People Live Near Coasts with NG Education’s classroom activity.
Cast-net fishing in Paradise Cove, Oahu, Hawaii.  
Photo courtesy of Katie Marten, MyShot.
3. Learn about other methods of fishing, and impacts on animal populations (activity, video, career profile).
Besides cast-net fishing, Hawaiians also engage in more conventional types of net and line fishing. As a result, a variety of human-wildlife interactions have occurred along Hawaii’s fragile coasts, negatively impacting the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal.  
National Geographic scientists, however, are taking an active role in protecting the monk seal, studying its behavior using groundbreaking recording technology, such as Crittercam.  This technology allows scientists to attach a camera to the back of a wild animal and study its behavior in previously unexplored environments–even squid have been studied using Crittercam! 
Watch the video below. What important discovery do the scientists make?
Video courtesy of Wild Chronicles, NG Mission Programs.
4. Surf’s up! (articles, blog post)
Continuing along in our exploration of Hawaii, what would you expect to see along its beaches?  Surfers, of course!  Hawaii is one of the of the world’s prime surfing locations, hosting hundreds of competitions per year.  Surfing is made popular in Hawaii due to the abundance of natural breaks occurring off of the islands’ reefs, beaches, shores, and points.
National Geographic Young Explorer Shannon Switzer is a world-class surfer whose conservation efforts to preserve watersheds are helping keep coastal environments cleaner and surfers healthier worldwide. She guest blogged with us just a few months ago!  Check out her article from our archives, “Connect the Dots.”.

Surfer enjoying a point break off of Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii.  
Photo courtesy of Davy Curran, MyShot.
5. Relive Pearl Harbor (articles, interactive activity)
Had enough of Hawaii?  Didn’t think so!  Check out NG Education’s awesome resources on Pearl Harbor, a historic WWII battle site of great importance. This theme was highlighted on our blog this past December, including an overview of an interactive Pearl Harbor Attack Map!
Ship at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Photo courtesy of Steve Cypert, MyShot.
After reading through all of this, we challenge you with the question posed to the Dare to Explore contestants: What would you do on a trip to Hawaii? What do you think you would see there?  
And don’t forget, follow along as our young explorers (and their lucky parents) join Andrew Evans from Aug 23 to 29 on Oahu!
— Justin Fisch for National Geographic Education

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