Floating Classroom with Gulfstream Elementary and Blue Scholars Initiative

BNPI Stingray
Miami, Florida
April 16, 2024


On Tuesday, April 16th, 2024, The International SeaKeepers Society and Blue Scholars Initiative hosted a floating classroom with 17 4th-grade school students and 4 educators from Gulfstream Elementary aboard the Biscayne National Park Institute's vessel Stingray in Biscayne National Park. We met our students and chaperones at Dinner Key Marina and made our way through Biscayne Bay to Vizcaya while discussing the coastal ecology of South Florida, as well as how the local watershed functions and results in different types of pollution in the bay. Students had the opportunity to visually explore seagrass and mangrove ecosystems, and even got to see some small seagrass critters like Dwarf Seahorses, Gulf Pipefish, and Mangrove Crabs up close! Using Earth Echo water challenge kits, students and chaperones had the opportunity to get their hands on some real science by measuring water quality parameters temperature, turbidity, pH, and dissolved oxygen level and hypothesizing why these parameters may change throughout the Bay. We finished up our floating classroom by discussing some of the most common (and uncommon) types of marine debris we find here in South Florida and how we could prevent those types of materials from entering the environment as a result of our everyday choices.

Outing Goal

The students of Gulfstream Elementary were a pleasure to work with and we are happy to be able to take another group of local students out on the water with our partners at Blue Scholars Initiative and Biscayne National Park Institute. We hope that these students were able to leave the floating classroom with a better understanding of how pollution impacts our waterways and how we can prevent different types of pollution in our everyday lives. We had a great time hosting Gulfstream Elementary and we hope to work with them and other Miami-Dade County Public Schools more in the future!

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