Students experience humpback whales outside of the classroom | News, Sports, Jobs
LAHAINA – Trilogy Excursions recently invited the Sacred Hearts School student body on private whale watching tours to experience Hawaiian humpback whales in their natural habitat.
From preschool through fifth grade, every class was taken on a whale-watching excursion to give students a real-life experience they could never get in a classroom setting.
The 90-minute charter allowed students to combine whale education with actual whale behavior at sea.
Each year, the shallow basin between Maui, Lanai and Kahoolawe attracts more than 14,000 whales who migrate to warmer waters to mate, give birth and raise their calves.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the education and excitement.” said Riley Coon, director of sustainable tourism at Trilogy.
“The second and third years had whales swimming under the boats for over ten minutes and the keiki almost lost it.” said Coon with a smile.
“Seeing their joy and knowing that they are having such a unique learning experience is very meaningful to me personally and I know it’s important to us as a company.”
Trilogy co-founder Jim Coon holds the Whale Watching Seat on the Hawaii Islands National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council (SAC) for humpback whales and is the last original member (dating from the 1980s) still in office.
Trilogy was the original corporate sponsor of the Whale Sanctuary and continues to support various non-profit organizations whose mission is to restore healthy whale populations and conduct scientific research.
“Connecting the children of Maui to the ocean in a meaningful way is an ongoing mission for Trilogy,” informed Riley. “Whale season is one of the best times to make that connection”.
“We can all read books and watch all films, but nothing teaches better than an experience – especially one in your own backyard.” said Sacred Hearts third grade teacher Brittany Adams.
“Trilogy gave us the ultimate, up-close and personal educational experience that these students will remember for the rest of their lives.”