Many of my students live in federal housing or low-income apartments near my school. My school has about 700 students and is a school-wide Title I, Provision II school, which means that 82% or more of the students are eligible to receive a free or reduced-price lunch.
Many of my students are second language learners and may be the first students in their families to attend college.
My students participate in a program that focuses on STEM activities that include stewardship of the marine environment that is close to the school and their community.
I want my students to learn to love science by participating in actual data collection in and near the ocean. This can best be done by going to a marine science camp on Catalina Island. Many of my students have never gone camping nor have they experienced collecting data on sea creatures while snorkeling. My students need to participate in various kelp, plankton, fish, and bird labs in and out of a classroom. They will work together to conduct population counts of marine animals while kayaking and snorkeling.
Some of my students don't even know how to swim, but are willing to put on wetsuits and experience what it's like to be a scientist.
The activities that they will participate in will bring together everything that they have been taught in their marine science classes since 6th grade.
This trip will inspire my students to continue their marine science education in high school and they will want to take AP Marine Biology and AP Environmental Science. Those who don't know how to swim will even register for swim classes, so they can one day collect their own ocean data!
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