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Semester Courses

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSummit to Sea Environmental Science This course is the cornerstone of our program, fulfilling our mission of encouraging environmental stewardship in the world’s future leaders.  The central question students explore is, “How can we prosper while living in harmony with our environment?”  The main instructor, Dr. David Cole of Hawaiʻi Community College, gives students an excellent pre-college experience.  The main topics covered are watershed and ecosystem health, food systems, and energy.  Students perform meaningful place-based projects like watershed quality testing and natural succession lab experiments in Hawaii’s most pristine environments.  They study the interconnectedness of life from the mountains to the sea.  As a final project, students create a sustainability plan to apply to their home communities, and present their plans to a panel of community members.  


IMG_2831Global Studies, Island Style-  With it’s many cultures, climates, and communities, Hawaiʻi Island is often considered a microcosm of the world.  If we can find successful solutions here, they can be applied almost anywhere.  With Hawaiʻi Island as the model, how to achieve thriving communities is the focus of the HOI Semester Global Studies course.  Guiding questions include, “What is prosperity?” “How is the earth an island?” and “How can we protect what we have for future generations?”  Coming from diverse places and cultures, our students strengthen each other to create global thinkers.  With a global mindset, they return home inspired to act locally as future leaders. 




Local Literature-  As an interdisciplinary program, this course uses place based literature to reinforce other subjects taught and give our students a true sense of place.  Once students realize that we all came from somewhere, the essential questions emerge, “How did we get here?” and “Now that we are here, how can we contribute?”  Selected readings include, “Hamakua Hero”, “Growing Up Local”, “Waves of Resistance” and “A Shark Going Inland is my Chief.”  Reading place based literature makes it easy to dive in!  





Outdoor Leadership-  The purpose of this course is inspired by a quote in the documentary Play Again, “What they do not know, they will not protect. What they do not protect, they will lose.”  With natural areas and open space in decline, HOI students will enjoy a healthy lifestyle in the outdoors and make real connections with nature, classmates, and themselves.  Interested students can earn scuba certification to explore and study the reefs. They’ll backpack to lush Waimanu Valley and the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park coastline to discover the best wilderness this island has to offer. They’ll practice Leave No Trace camping skills.  They’ll develop a love of nature as a healthy space and a valuable resource to preserve.  They’ll overcome physical and mental limits to reach their true potential in ways that will serve them well in years to come.  

Math Options-  Math will either include a place based statistics course and/or individualized on-line math (if a sending school has math requirements).