Committed to providing responsible educational opportunities for children to discover the fragile beauty of our oceans and inhabitants, Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) announces its first-ever Virtual Keiki Whalewatch.

Prioritizing the safety of students and staff is always PWF’s primary concern. Since bringing keiki to the whales is not prudent at this time, PWF brings the whales to students via one-hour sessions offered multiple times daily Tuesdays through Fridays. The virtual sessions run from February 16 through May 21 with 7am (HST) slots available for East Coast participants.  

Structured to accommodate entire classrooms from the comfort of home, the sessions feature virtual programming designed to mimic an actual whale-watch experience as closely as possible. PWF’s Virtual Keiki Whalewatch combines pre-recorded footage filmed off the coast of Maui with live virtual interaction and online video conferencing with PWF Education Specialists. Also included are appropriate grade-level curriculum encompassing a library of online lessons and lesson plans to enhance the experience through engaging hands-on activities undertaken individually or collaboratively within a classroom setting. 

“Our goal is to provide the most engaging and impactful experience we can offer at this time,” explains PWF Education Manager Robyn Ehrlich. “Appreciation and care for the environment are crucial now, more than ever. Our programs provide opportunities for keiki to form and strengthen connections with the ocean.”

Cost for non-Maui County educational institutions is $50 per program, which includes one-hour live virtual whale watch and access to optional classroom lessons and activities. Maximum group size per program is 70 students.

In order to help ease significant financial hardships imposed by the pandemic, the County of Maui and Office of Economic Development have subsidized a generous portion of the program’s creation and cost. This, combined with financial support from additional individuals and foundations, allows PWF to offer Virtual Keiki Whalewatch free of charge to all Maui County schools. Please contact PWF’s Education department at (808) 856-8341 or email education@pacificwhale.org for discount code.

For more information or to sign up for a Virtual Keiki Whalewatch program, visit www.pacificwhale.org/education/keiki-whalewatch or email education@pacificwhale.org.