Hawaii Science and Technology Museum supports research projects to give students hands-on experience in using the scientific method to develop hypotheses, conduct experiments, and reach conclusions based on the data collected. Our current project, Opihi Spawning Cycles, is in partnership with the Hamakua Youth Center in Honoka’a Hawaii to determine the spawning cycles of opihi or, cellana, a genus of snails or limpets in the family Nacellidae that is an edible delicacy in Hawaii. The students use collected specimens and take measurements to determine whether or not they are actively spawning and then collect all the data to determine what times of the month the opihi are spawning in their community. Using this information students can then make recommendations to their community leaders about appropriate harvest times to enjoy opihi in a sustainable way. Please enjoy This You Tube Video to further explain this experiment!
Students at the Hamakua Youth Center conducting opihi research. These photos have been used with permission of the Hamakua Youth Center.