Classroom Visit at Colossal Academy
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
February 6, 2024
On Tuesday, February 6th, 2024, The International SeaKeepers Society’s education team visited 25 students at Colossal Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the third and final lesson in a three-part series. Our Education Manager, Toni, gave a presentation on South Florida coastal marine ecosystems and the techniques that scientists and citizen scientists use to monitor these sometimes hard-to-reach places. We discussed common methods of making measurements and monitoring the general health of these environments, like the use of quadrats and physical sampling of things like sediment or water. We also discussed techniques used for ocean research in really difficult-to-reach areas like the open ocean or the bottom of the ocean. These techniques include technology like bathymetry monitors, specialized sample collection nets, and even advanced water testing, all of which SeaKeepers engages in with scientists and citizen scientists globally through our DISCOVERY Yacht program. We finished our lesson with an introduction to wildlife journaling, a common method used by marine biologists and sailors to document life and changes in the open ocean before the availability of modern technology. Using Charles Darwin and his sail to the Galapagos Islands as inspiration, students completed the lesson with a journaling activity of their own. In doing so, students selected an organism from an environment that they were unfamiliar with, and, after sketching that organism, used the prompts "I notice, I wonder, It reminds me of" to discover more about their "unknown" organism. By completing this activity, students get back to the fundamentals of conservation biology and see how difficult it would have been to catalog organisms and new places without the use of technology like cameras and GPS systems.
The goal of our lesson series with Colossal Academy Microschool was to enhance the knowledge of the students about the overall value of monitoring and conserving natural places and the organisms that live there.