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ROTTERDAM: Students say 'aloha' to learning

Learning about Hawaii involved social studies, language skills, mapping skills, graphing and lots of math.

"It's an integrated experience with all curriculum aspects," Osinski said.

After spending the first bit of the year learning about Hawaii and volcanoes through the online lessons, the four students were chosen to go to Hawaii with the teachers.

"They did a speech, a public presentation and a project on volcanoes and earthquakes. They were judged on their academics, their ability to articulate in front of a camera and their creativity," Osinski said.

During the week in Hawaii, the students were immersed in Hawaiian culture. They attended a luau, made leis and lived with other Hawaiian students.

"The whole trip was a learning experience. We were busy from sunrise to sunset," Osinski said. "We went hiking and into the rainforest to learn about different birds and visited volcanoes and learned about earthquakes."

Sue Rojas, Ali's mom, said she was nervous about sending her child halfway around the world at first, but once she met the teachers and people she was going with, she completely trusted them.

While on the trip, students spoke with their parents through Web cameras.

"With the time difference, it would be 11 at night, and she'd be calling," Sue Rojas said. "I'd have to throw on a sweatshirt and run downstairs."

The students and teachers presented the school board with a slideshow they had created during their trip. Best Buy loaned the students digital cameras and laptop computers to document their experience.

At the Monday, Jan. 8, meeting each of the four students thanked the school board for the opportunity to participate in the field trip and shared their favorite parts of the trip.

Ali Rojas said, "My favorite part was doing the hula."

Megan Reese said, "Thank you for this amazing experience. My favorite part was taking a hike through lava flow."

"I am very proud of all of them. They did such a great job," Sue Rojas said, "She [Ali] can tell you anything about volcanoes now."

For information about electronic field trips visit www.bsu.edu/eft/home/00front.htm. More information is also available at www.mohonasen.org/grade5/crows/crow.htm. And the students' slide show can be viewed at www.photoshow.net/watch/WC8jv6wd.""

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