West Hawaii Explorations Academy, a public charter school in Kona, welcomed its 25,000th student visitor on Wednesday. She is Kanani Oyakawa, a fourth-grader at Wilson Elementary School, pictured here with Heather Nakakura, co-director of West Hawaii Explorations Academy, left, and Wilson Elementary teacher Laura Hew.
West Hawaii Explorations Academy welcomed its 25,000th student visitor Wednesday, as a tour group from Wilson Elementary School in Honolulu visited Kona to explore the charter school campus and get miniature lessons in marine science.
Kanani Oyakawa, a fourth-grader at Wilson, was keiki visitor No. 25,000 to the Aloha Kai program at the open-air academy, where high school students serve as docents and showcase their projects, from hydroponics to alternative energy.
The school's motto is "No Child Left Indoors," and learning is centered on real-world science projects conducted at its campus at the Natural Energy Laboratory at Keahole Point in Kona. The academy, which opened in 2000 as a charter school, has 220 students in grades 6 to 12 who study with laptops on picnic tables, amid tanks that house sea creatures from clownfish to sharks.