Education is a core element of this voyage and trained educators will be on-board every leg of the journey. For the first international leg to Tahiti, Noelani Kamalu has taken on the big responsibility of this role.
“I believe one of the reasons why I have the opportunity to sail on Hōkūleʻa is because I am a teacher at Hālau Kū Māna. Hālau Kū Māna is a unique school. They pride themselves in their culture, and place-base and project-base learning,” said Noelani Kamalu.
“Kumu Noe has been with our school, Hālau Kū Māna for 4 years now.” said Mahina Paishon-Duarte, principal at Hālau Kū Māna.
With this relationship, the school held a going away ceremony near the end of the 2014 school year.
I fully expect that she will integrate and apply her experiences and her refined skills in the classroom, watching her spark the imagination and inspire our kids to take on these practices, and to apply and make these practices relevant to today with any Western academic courses,” said Mahina.
As a teacher, Noe is passionate about connecting the waʻa and mathematics.
“Vectors are always applicable, talking about the direction the canoe is headed in, and having to calculate your wind and your currents, and then your resulted vector from that. Another thought I’ve been kind of playing around in my head are similar triangles related to reefing the sails. And those are just some of the ones floating around in my brain right now. I think the more experience I have on the waʻa, the more I will be able to draw in when it comes to writing curriculum, especially as a math teacher.,” said Noelani.
“I believe that Kumu Noe is going to bring a strong educator perspective to the voyage. I believe while she is voyaging, while she is tending to the sails, while she’s at the hoe uli, while she’s taking care of whatever duties she may have, she’s going to be thinking of lesson plans. She’s going be thinking about curriculum,” said Mahina.
“I’m really curious to see what kind of teacher I am after the fact. I don’t expect to change 180 degrees. But I think that experience will offer an opportunity to reflect,” said Noelani.