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By Theo Covello ’18

Editor’s Note: A key part of Morgan Park Academy’s global curriculum is a week of school-wide global explorations each March, which this year included a Project Week trip to Hawaii.

Before this Project Week trip, I thought that beaches, beautiful scenery, and relaxation was all that Hawaii had to offer. But I learned that Hawaii has so much more within its many islands, including a wealth of science and history and some of the most interesting geography, coral reefs, and water life in the world.

On this trip, we delved into all of this and more as we explored the beautiful island of Oahu. We learned the significance of coral reefs and how many species depend on them. We swam with some of Hawaii’s well-known sea turtles and learned about their lifestyle and the threats to their survival. We hiked Diamond Head and learned about the formation of these volcanic islands.

[Read more about this trip and view our explorers’ photo gallery.]

Many of the historical sites we visited were the location of struggles for control of Hawaii. We saw where many warriors fell to their deaths in a brutal battle for Oahu. We visited the grand Iolani Palace, home to many Hawaiian monarchs, and we also learned how the United States came to annex Hawaii and end that monarchy.

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We also explored Hawaii during World War II. On Diamond Head, bunkers that were built during the war still remained. We went to Pearl Harbor, and this was probably my favorite part, because I like to learn about the two world wars that changed the world in so many ways.

Pearl Harbor itself had multiple stories. A guide gave us a very detailed account of the attack. Our group took a ferry out to the USS Arizona memorial, and learned how she was bombed and exploded, taking over a thousand men with her. Then we went around the harbor to the USS Missouri, saw the surrender documents that ended World War II, and explored the massive battleship.

Of course, we also enjoyed the island’s beautiful beaches. But what I liked most about this trip was finding out what Hawaii truly is — how it got there in the first place, how it came to be as it is today, and how life exists and around the islands.

The trip allowed me to truthfully and fully say that Hawaii is indeed a spectacular place.

Theo is a freshman at Morgan Park Academy.

Want more from Global Week? Check out stories and photos from our other trips.