By: Kayla Yamamoto
As the Hokulea made another historical achievement sailing her first freshwater passage through Lake Okeechobee, Fla., the Polynesian Voyaging Society land team took on a more educational focus in Miami.
The crew drove a several hundred miles south to engage with leaders from Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden on their educational programs. The Garden's educational outreach involves over 280 schools worldwide and focuses on developing the next environmentally-minded generation.
The Fairchild Challenge was started in 2002 and provides students with opportunities to work on projects with real world application. The initiative has partnered with NASA to research plants that will be involved in the International Space station and Mars missions.
The Hokulea crew members were able to visit three of the Fairchild Challenge schools, including Florida's BioTECH High School and Jose Marti MAST Academy. Crew members were able to discuss how their data collection will likewise impact future space missions.