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PBS Hawaii – HIKI NŌ Episode 512 | Ewa Makai Middle School | Butterfly Camp

Miss Debra Gochros is a seventh grade science
teacher at Ewa Makai Middle School. During lunch
and after school, she hosts the Butterfly Club, a club dedicated to educating students
about the delicate life cycle of a butterfly. While
some people think it might be a waste of time to talk about
butterflies, Miss Gochros feels the creatures have a big value in the bigger picture of
society. Butterflies are gentle and delicate, and it’s
a lot of fun to work with them. And I find that seventh
grade students don’t have so much compassion for animals, so I thought by having a Butterfly
Club and by students working with the butterflies,
that they’ll learn to be more compassionate. And if
we have compassionate students, hopefully we’ll have compassionate adults. I like Butterfly Club because you get to help
raise butterflies. And when they grow up to be in the
Butterfly House, they usually land on you, and you feel like you’ve accomplished something
in your life. Miss Gochros’ love of science didn’t happen
in a school science period. In fact, she found science
pretty boring during her school years. However, it started with a simple camping trip. My father used to take me out into nature,
used to take me camping. And one of the best experiences I ever had when I was in right
around seventh grade was, we were camping, and I had
gone out on a hike. And next to this great, big lake there were hundreds of butterflies.
And I had never seen that before. And so, I went back
and I got my father, and I said, What’s this all about?
So, he came out and he looked at it, and he had me get down with the butterflies on their
same level. And he said, What are they doing? And
sure enough, I could see that they were actually drinking the water. And I said, Really? Butterflies
land to drink the water? And he said, Well, these butterflies are on a migration, and
they’ve been flying for a long time, and they need to stop
and rest and drink water. And so, that’s what they’re doing. Because we could walk right
up to the butterflies, and none of them moved. And there
were hundreds of them. And so, it was really interesting. It was very good, actually, for
my father to sit me down and just watch the butterflies,
and not touch them or anything. Miss Gochros’ experience that day grew into
something greater than just science. It grew into an
idea that Gochros practices as an educator and person in life. Compassion is going to build better students
and better adults. I feel that as we grow older, if we
have compassion in our lives now, that we’ll understand as an adult with laws and the government,
with wars, with people that need help, if you have compassion in your soul and you feel
a need to help people, it’ll just make the world a better
place to live. Miss Gochros’ Butterfly Club has mixed her
own love of science and care for animals. Her desire
to make this world a better place happens one butterfly at a time. This is Hana Gandall
from Ewa Makai Middle School, for HIKI NŌ.

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