Classroom Visit at Treasure Island Elementary
Treasure Island, Florida
March 6, 2023
On Monday, March 6th, 2023, The International SeaKeepers Society assisted Blue Scholars Initiative in facilitating in-classroom marine science lessons to 3 classes of fourth grade students at Treasure Island Elementary. Students received two lessons, the first discussing the impacts of anthropogenic pollutants, and the second exploring the dynamics of coastal watersheds.
Blue Scholars Initiative has been working with these students at Treasure Island as a part of a 4-part, hands-on curriculum that aims to engage students in marine biology, marine ecology and watershed concepts while providing a better understanding of, and connection to, the marine ecosystem and the impact of human stresses. Toni, our SeaKeepers Education Manager, was lucky enough to join Meredith Bass from Blue Scholars to facilitate part 3 of the series where students participated in activities that simulate how humans interact with the complex dynamics of our marine systems.
The group got to learn about the hydrology of watersheds as well as the anthropogenic threats that watersheds face. These include plastic litter, marine debris, air and oil pollution, nutrient pollutants like fertilizers, and more from terrestrial sources like homes, businesses, and roadways. This pollution is carried by rain and flood water to canals, rivers, and bays, which can build up and lead to algal blooms and fish kills, which have been increasing in frequency and intensity in places like South Florida. Students also learned about the most common types of anthropogenic pollutants and how to prevent them. By identifying different types of marine pollutants, students were able to connect their personal choices and actions to environmental issues, and better understand how to limit their own environmental “footprint” in their everyday lives.
Through these activities, we aimed to assist Blue Scholars Initiative in educating Title 1 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 Biscayne Bay and beyond to provide context to how we interact with complex ocean systems.