The Marine Science Institute has a great opportunity to work with a variety of collaborators for the B-WET Ocean Views Project. Ocean Views is inspired by the NOAA ocean literacy principle that the ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected. Students from distinct locales in the watershed – the baylands (Kennedy Middle from Redwood City), and the Pacific coast (La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District) – will develop an understanding of their relationship to the ocean, no matter their locale in the watershed.
Throughout the 2012-2013 school year I get a great opportunity to work with a very excited group of students. On Tuesday September 11, 2012, I meet the five classes of 6th graders at Kennedy Middle who are participating in this project. This day was focused on a pre-evaluation of the students. The students learned what a concept map is and created one based on their knowledge of their watershed, “Redwood Creek Watershed.” At the end of this project the students will create another concept map based on what knowledge they gathered through the various hands-on science activities.
On Wednesday September 12th, I ventured back into the Kennedy classroom, where we went in depth about Watersheds. The first activity was very basic, but inspiring to see what all the students came up with. The 6th graders drew their idea of a watershed. A handful of students stood up in front of the class and presented their concept to the entire group. Extremely brave students sharing their artwork with everyone. So, what is a watershed? A watershed is the area of land that “sheds” or drains water into a given river, river system, or larger body of water, like the SF Bay. It is the area of land from which water and pollution drain through a series of channels into a common outlet. Check out this video of Kennedy Middle students explaining what they think is a watershed.
Throughout the 50 minutes we created our own watershed using paper, markers, and water; experimented with the EnviroScape and talked about pollution; Discussed Marine Sanctuaries; finally ending with a homework assignment of the students drawing their neighborhood and labeling what type of pollutants that they find.
On Monday September 17, I will be meeting 25 students from the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District where they will start the pre-evaluation process. Starting Tuesday there will be a series of Canoe trips where the students will experience a different view of the Watershed.