The below essay, by 7th grader Kyle Yasumura, is a great summary of why we choose to spend a week in Oahu every year!
In 7th grade at the Saklan School, the entire class, lead by Mrs Kim and Miss O, fly to Honolulu Oahu and study the wildlife, the culture, and have a ton of fun. But why Hawaii of all places?
The Hawaiian islands are an excellent place to study evolution and adaptation because the ecosystem there is extremely unique, with plants that only grow in tropical areas, or some even in only Hawaii alone. The humid weather, general heat, and limited island space are large factors that really allow some pretty amazing adaptations to be made. For example, because the plants in Hawaii are all very close together, sunlight per plant is very limited, a tree called the Traveler’s Palm adapted to have massive leaves allowing it to absorb as much sun as possible. Or the Banyan tree, a plant that strangles other trees and basically takes its space and sun.
As I mentioned earlier, some species are only found in Hawaii because of some special adaptations that are very specific to the island. And because of that, it gives the class an amazing opportunity to see the full extent of adaptations to a very unique climate. For example, the humuhumunukuapua’a, or, the state fish of Hawaii. The fish has adapted to be able to lock itself into place between rocks as there is a great abundance of coral reefs in Hawaii.
In conclusion, Hawaii is a great place for the seventh grade to be able to study/observe evolution and adaptation because of the unique climate, and species adaptations that occur due to the specific environment