Waimea Middle School’s 2nd Ohana Makahiki Fest is Nov. 14

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<p>Two Waimea Middle School students perform in one of the Makahiki games at the event last year. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WMS FOR NHN)</p>
<p>A student learns poi pounding at last year’s WMS Makahiki Fest. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WMS FOR NHN)</p>
<p>WMS students participate in a tug-of-war at the Makahiki Fest last year at the school. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WMS FOR NHN)</p>

With the Makahiki season rapidly approaching – a time in ancient Hawaii for setting aside workday routines and even war to celebrate the harvest and participate in cultural activities that included challenging games of skill and strength – Waimea Middle School students are learning to connect these traditional skills and practices to 21st century science, math, language arts, social studies, health and fitness.

From learning about ancient and contemporary astronomy and its connections to day-to-day living (the tides, when to plant and harvest, phases of the moon, navigation, etc.) to the life cycle of plants, WMS teachers and staff strive to engage students in learning through relevant hands-on, place-based lessons often connected to the school’s Mala’ai garden and also to traditional navigation and the coming worldwide voyage of the Hokule’a canoe.

To share these lessons and the excitement they generate and how they connect to core curriculum and academic progress, WMS’ science teaching team is inviting all Waimea families and friends to a three-hour ‘Ohana Makahiki Fest from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, in and near Waimea Middle School’s Mala’ai Garden.

It will be an outdoor program with many hands-on activities including:

Makahiki games led by Kumu Keala Kahuanui

Making star dinders

Learning about celestial navigation (outdoors after dark under the stars – weather permitting)

Traditional “canoe foods” including poi pounding with friends from Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden and sampling ulu (breadfruit) and fresh coconut

Weaving cordage with Pua Lincoln

Creating Solar Print Cards

Making Palm Baskets

Participants will be given a “passport” to take from station to station to try all of the activities offered. This also will include a display of the school’s recent “I KAIR” Day of Service when students provided volunteer manpower to support a wide array of community projects – from Waimea Nature Park and Kohala Watershed Partnership’s ginger eradication efforts in the Kohala watershed to beach cleanup and helping at a Hamakua quail farm. Friendly…aquaponics

The program also includes enjoying a free dinner of warm “Stone Soup” – recalling both a wonderful old French tale about the making of this magic soup and also how “Stone Soup” helped feed Waimea Middle School students in 2009 when the DOE decided to furlough children and WMS opted to continue holding classes.

There’s no charge to attend the ‘Ohana Makahiki Fest and everyone is invited. Participants are asked to enter campus from the back entry gate and parking will be provided on the field. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and bring a warm wrap as it can get chilly especially as it gets dark for stargazing. For more information, call WMS Community Liaison Patti Cook at 937-2833, or email cookshi@aol.com.