Worldwide Voyage | Waʻa Talks in Year 3

manuwai-petersWritten by Manuwai Peters, Hawaii Department of Education

Phone: (808) 305-9655

We are happy to announce the return of Waʻa Talks, now in Year 3!

Waʻa Talks is a teacher professional development activity, where interested educators meet to share learning activities inspired bythe Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

This first Waʻa Talks of the school year will be held at Farrington High School on Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 3 to 6 p.m.  This will be the first of several Waʻa Talks held this school year that will focus on the important “what next?” question in regards to sustaining the impact of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage once Hōkūleʻa returns to Hawaiʻi in June 2017.  Amongst the topics discussed there will be new workshop opportunities in the PVS Canoe to Classroom initiative, which brings lessons learned from the deck of the canoe to life through links to lesson plan ideas and curriculum resources.waa-talks-flyer_fall2016

The last Waʻa Talks was held in April 2016 at Kaimukī High School, and marked the 2nd anniversary of this unique forum that was created as a way to engage teachers in conversations of learning and discovery relating to the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

In April 2014, a pilot Waʻa Talks was launched at Punahou School’s Kuaihelani Learning Center with a life-size replica of the deck of Hōkūleʻa as a backdrop to a panel of motivated teachers sharing their ideas and successes in developing waʻa-based and waʻa-related lessons for learners of all ages and schools.  The energy and excitement at this first Waʻa Talks was tangible, and has become characteristic of all Waʻa Talks since.

Kaleo Wong gives a presentation on Hōkūleʻa and the Worldwide Voyage to a full house at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Kaleo Wong gives a presentation on Hōkūleʻa and the Worldwide Voyage to a full house at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine.

At that first gathering at Punahou, it was clear that the topics would include not just waʻa and voyaging, but would encompass broader themes of sustainability, from ma uka to ma kai, from energy use to stream biodiversity, in Hawaiʻi and beyond.  Regardless of the diversity of topics at each Waʻa Talks, one thing has remained constant: the catalyzing force of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage and its ability to bring a diversity of teachers, crew-members, practitioners, and education specialists together to support the mission of the Voyage, which is now into its fourth and final year.

Since Waʻa Talks’ inception in 2014 through the last event at Kaimukī High School, the forum has tried to remain true to its vision of being “community grounded and globally connected.” This has been reflected in its diverse locations, from K-12 public and independent schools, to piers and wharfs, and to maritime centers.

Crewmember Catherine Fuller gives a Mālama Honua presentation to community members at the Seacoast Science Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The vision of being globally connected has been captured in the frequent use of Google Hangouts to bring in educators from all parts of the world to participate and present, and has allowed Waʻa Talks participants to speak and pose questions to Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia crew members in far-away ports of call.  Technology has also allowed for education specialists and teachers in Tahiti, French Polynesia to join Waʻa Talks remotely.

For the final year of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Waʻa Talks will be held at Farrington High School, Waiʻalae Charter School, and ʻIolani School. Although no two Waʻa Talks are alike, all share a common feature of positioning education and educators as a critical force in extending the practice of Mālama Honua from waʻa to  community. Register to attend all Waʻa Talks at

Help fund the Voyage as we sail the East Coast

Hōkūle‘a’s visit to the eastern United States is a historic milestone in her 40 years of voyaging.

Celebrate with us by pledging your support to the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

Contribute Now

Print Friendly, PDF & Email