Classroom on the Sand with Take Root Forest School


Hollywood, Florida
February 9, 2024

Overview

On Friday, February 9, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society hosted a Classroom on the Sand with elementary students from the microschool group Take Root Forest School. Through this event, students participated in a coastal scavenger hunt at Von D. Mizell and Eula Johnson State Park where they completed activities like creating (and destroying for the sea turtles) a sand castle as a team, identifying new coastal creatures, and removing marine debris from the shoreline, amongst others.

Through these activities, our young participants got to explore their local environment and learn more about the native plants and animals that we share these spaces with. Featured species sighted during our classroom on the sand were violet snails (Janthina janthina), Portuguese man-o-war (Physalia physalis), by-the-wind-sailor (Velella velella), and various sponge (Porifera) species, all of which were washed up by strong wind and wave action in the area. Students were also able to maximize their positive impact on the park through the removal of marine debris, much of which were small pieces of microplastics that would have otherwise remained floating in the water column where it could continue to cause serious damage to the ecosystem.

Outing Goal

Through these activities, we aimed to educate students in Miami-Dade County about the impact their actions and choices have on the local and global marine environments. Additionally, students were able to learn about marine ecology and hydrology as pertinent to South Florida and beyond to provide context to how we interact with complex ocean systems.


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