Over 30 teachers from K-12 public, charter, and independent schools on O‘ahu and Molokai attended a fascinating workshop on “Engaging Students in Citizen Science through the Prevention of Rat Lungworm Disease” this summer at ‘Iolani School. The event garnered an enthusiastic response from the education community and was covered in an informative article by the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

The workshop was led by rat lungworm (RLW) expert Kay Howe from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy, and co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Department of Health, ‘Iolani School, O‘ahu Farm to School Network, and Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui, a program of Hawai‘i Public Health Institute.

The purpose of the workshop was to introduce educators to a new curriculum designed for grades 5-8 and developed by the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo College of Pharmacy. The lessons use STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to introduce teachers and students to the RLW lifecycle and global spread, best practices for RLW disease prevention, species identification,  integrated pest management techniques for the control of RLW hosts — slugs, snails, and rats — and data collection.

Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui looks forward to collaborating with its partners to offer additional workshops around the state and a more in-depth professional development credit course for educators on Hawai‘i Island during the 2018-2019 school year!