Our education efforts focus on increasing understanding of ecosystem management, developing an ocean stewardship ethic, and training the next generation of leaders to be both scientifically and culturally grounded. All educational activities seek to actively engage the public in protecting our marine environment.

Mokupāpapa Discovery Center

Father and son enjoy a quiet moment in front of the aquarium.
Father and son enjoy a quiet moment in front of the aquarium. Credit: NOAA

The Mokupāpapa Discovery Center (MDC), managed and operated by NOAA, was created to interpret the nature, culture, and history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). Located on the waterfront in downtown Hilo, MDC is free and open to the public, and features a large-scale wall map, interactive displays and kiosks, three-dimensional models, salt-water aquarium, colorful graphic panels with interpretive text in both Hawaiian and English, beautiful photographs from the NWHI, a giant coral reef mural, and several life-size models of NWHI wildlife. For more information, click here.

Educational Resources

Left: Drawing of a boy and girl coloring a fish. Right: Drawing of a teacher writing on a chalk board.

Educational Resources

More Ways to Learn

Educational Activities

  • Field trips to Mokupāpapa Discovery Center
  • Hands-on activities for kids in the classroom and outdoors
  • Classroom presentations by PMNM scientists
  • Ship-to-classroom 'ask a scientist' opportunities during research expeditions
  • Virtual lessons for K-12
  • Outreach booths at events
If you want to request an educational activity for your school or event, contact:
Justin.Umholtz@noaa.gov (Hawaiʻi)