Class inquiry into soil

Few organisms found in a class ecobottle investigation.  They built ecobottles and have now taken it apart to look at to look at the cellular structures that build their organisms.

Protists found on mold


We looked at different salts under the microscope and wetmounted in alcohol.  Below you will see images at 40x and 100x using the celestron microscope.

Investigating our Aquaculture Tank

We have a little aquaponics project in our classroom and our nutrients are coming from crayfish. We saw that some have eggs and that one had fallen off. Thinking it was not alive, we thought to put in on the slide. To our surprise we saw movement in its legs and it’s heart beating (we think). We put it in a little container on its own to protect it from predators. Enjoy our little video clips!


These are fibers from our clothes and the striped image is a part of a dollar.

‘Ohi’a lehua flower – Hawaiian Endemic Plant

As we walked around our campus, we found a native and very special plant to share. It is called ‘Ohi’a Lehua. It is found in all Hawaiian ecosystems from our very dry desert environment, to the lush native rainforests that we do our field work in. It has a beautiful red flower (http://www2.hawaii.edu/~eherring/hawnprop/met-poly.htm) and the story goes that when the ‘Ohi’a flower is picked, it will rain. Hawaii does need rain as we are in one our worst droughts right now.  (Sorry, there were no flowers.)  Below you will find two pictures, one of the top glossier side of the leaf and the other is the bottom side.  There are many different varieties of lehua as some flowers can be more orange and yellow, also somes leaves have more “fuzz” to the bottom.  Currently, I believe that scientists are looking at whether the species is diversifying into different species.  The leaves and buds are sometimes used in haku leis.



Our Hawaii

Aloha, Below you will see our campus. On the left you might notice the orange fence, that is because we have just expanded to a Middle School and now includes grades K-8.  The large trees in the picture are not native, but provide nice shade. Unfortunately many of the large trees currently seen in developed areas in Hawaii are non-native.

7th grade students recently attended a field trip just 20 minutes away, down the mountain to the ocean, to a sacred Hawaiian site.  Below you will see the beautiful Pacific Ocean that our school looks out towards and we were lucky enough to see our first humpback whales spout off in the horizon.  They migrate to and from Alaska each year, raising their babies and giving birth in our warm Hawaii waters.  The picture below shows Pelekane Bay, a historical bay in Hawaii that played a role in the unification of the Hawaiian Islands.  Below the water remains a shark heeiau, sharks were important guardians to the Hawaiian people.  Unfortunately a nearby harbor has drastically changed the water flow and there is much sedimentation and siltation today.

Below is a picture of the fruit of the Milo tree. The fruit has a bright yellow juice and the Hawaiians used the fruit to dye their tapa clothes.

This is a flower from the Pua keni keni tree. It is indigenous to the Samoan Islands, but is commonly used in Hawaii’s leis and has a very sweet smell.  The flower is lying on lava rock.  We have a’a lava (rock that is rough and difficult to walk on) and pahoehoe lava (smoother lava).


This plant is indigenous to Hawaii.  It’s Hawaiian name is ‘Uhaloa, Waltheria indica.   It was found outside our classroom and the photo was taken at approximately 40x magnification.  Hawaiians chewed the root to relieve sore throats and also used other various parts for other medicines to treat chest pain and congestion.