Aka’ula School’s annual environmental symposium known as PRISM — Providing Resolutions with Integrity for a Sustainable Molokai — takes place Dec. 10 and 11.
Inspired by the work being done on the Molokai Community Plan, the private middle school in Kualapu’u chose the theme, “Being the leaders of tomorrow today.” The symposium, now in its 14th year, looks at local issues and tries to find answers that take all viewpoints into consideration before coming up with a recommendation and action plan.
Aka’ula’s students are responsible for organizing and hosting the annual event. This year, environmental field trips for the students on Friday, Dec. 10, will start off the symposium. It will be followed on Saturday with environmental workshops at Home Pumehana from 9:30–11:30 a.m. This will be followed by an environmental rap contest during lunch. Presentation of student work starts at 12:30 p.m.
Earlier this year, a PRISM symposium was held in March. It featured field trips to wetlands, fishponds and a sustainable farm that operates off the grid. Through its commitment to environmental issues, Aka’ula helped bring the Blue Planet Foundation’s CFL free lightbulb exchange to Molokai.
For this symposium, students will be investigating the following questions: Should there be a “family fun center” on Molokai? Should Molokai have an ATV/dirt bike track? In what ways, if any, should Kaunakakai be landscaped/streetscaped to encourage people to spend more time in town? Should Molokai’s wetlands be documented? Should native species be replanted in the forest on Molokai? What kinds of educational native gardens would Home Pumehana residents like at their facility? What should be done with Malama Park?
In addition to these small group presentations, two groups will work on video documentaries of the visioning project from the Molokai Community Plan and the monk seal investigation. Another student is documenting the history of Kaunakakai as told to him by a local kupuna. There will also be a whole class investigation on the Hawaiian monk seal conducted by the beginning issues class.
The community is invited to join the school for workshops, the environmental rap contest and student presentations Saturday at Home Pumehana.
Those who would like to join the school for lunch on Saturday, there will be a plate lunch of chicken long rice for purchase. To reserve a lunch ticket, call 567-6981 and ask for Makana or stop by the school.