Teaching Change
Group of students on the Kaumana trail
Student stops to smell a leaf
Group of students on Kaumana trail in the mist

Kīpuka Exploring! Field Courses are day trips for 4th and 5th-grade students where we explore a local kīpuka on Kaumana Trail. A kīpuka is a forest isolated by lava that is usually much older than the surrounding area, which creates important habitat for native forest birds in Hawaiʻi. The kīpuka we visit holds a rich diversity of native plants and birds that make an amazing outdoor classroom for students to learn about natural history, biocultural resources, phenology and climate change. During this trip, students learn how to identify the different phenophases of ʻōhiʻa lehua in Hawaiian and English. Students learn how to identify native plants using their Hawaiian names, and what roles these plants take in the ecosystem. At the end of the trail, students explore inside the kīpuka and play “Kīpuka Bingo,” a scavenger hunt for plants, birds, and animals.

Course Details

Grade Level
4th and 5th
Student Capacity
Up to 40
4-5 Hours
1 Per 10 Students
BYO Brown Bag Lunch
Bus service provided


Kaumana Trail

Kaumana Trail is located on the Mauna Loa side of saddle road between mile markers 18 and 20. Teaching Change meets at the Western end of the trail, between mile markers 19 and 20.

Kipuka map

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