The Hawaiian Islands are full of history, unique plant species and wildlife, culture and incredible geological formations. It’s no wonder, really, that Hawaii is perhaps the world’s most incredible outdoor classroom. From volcanoes, sea life, and unique climates to historic fishing villages, trails and cultural institutions, all one needs to do to learn something new in Hawaii is step outside their front door and explore the world around them. And while the Hawaiian public school system won’t be
winning awards anytime soon, we can teach our children incredible things while going on grand adventures through the beautiful state we call home.
1. Nowhere else can you get more up close and personal with volcanoes.
Head to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for a science lesson about the volcanoes that formed our beautiful islands. You can even hike to active lava flows, and witness this extreme force of nature for yourself.
2. The Hawaiian Islands are home to 10 of the world's 14 climate zones.
According to the Koppen Climate Classification System, the most commonly used method for identifying and defining global climate zones, Hawaii is home to a majority of the world’s major climate zones. And even more impressive – you will find ten of the fourteen total climate zones on just one island: Hawaii Island.
3. You are able to learn about the Pacific Ocean and all the creatures that inhabit it with your own eyes.
There is no greater way to learn about marine biology than to experience it for yourself, and there is no greater place to do that than Hawaii.
4. Hawaii has a rich history, and is home to various historic sites to explore.
From the various Pearl Harbor Historical Sites like the USS Battleship Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial to Iolani Palace, and sites rich with history of the Hawaiian monarchy, there is no shortage of historic sites in Hawaii to learn.
5. Don't forget about languages.
Hawaii is the only state in America with more than one official language, and you can even learn about ancient communication at the Puako Petroglyph Trail.
6. The islands' are home to magnificent trails that combine history with gym class.
From hikes that end at old military bunkers to historic trails that were once navigated by royalty, there is no shortage of historical hikes to be completed across the Hawaiian Islands.
7. Hawaii is also home to some of the world's most impressive telescopes and astronomy centers.
Not only is Mauna Kea the tallest peak in Hawaii, but it is the site of more than a dozen telescopes funded by 11 different countries, and is one of the best sites in the world for astronomical observation due to its high altitude, dry environment and stable airflow.
8. You can connect with the aina - and learn about native plant species, and the creation of the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaii may be the country's greatest playground, but it is also a marvelous classroom - where those of all ages can learn about Hawaii's native plant species.
9. Where else in the world will you receive a more meaningful lesson on the worlds' endangered species?
As the most isolated population center on the planet, Hawaii has one of the highest rates of endinism – species that exist nowhere else – in the world. And because we have so many unique species of plants and animals, Hawaii is often considered the “endangered species capital of the world.”
10. You can even visit ancient Hawaiian villages.
For a quick history and cultural lesson, head to one of Hawaii's many ancient fishing villages, like Lapakahi State Historical Park, pictured above.