Spring 2018 Program Highlights: Exciting Exploration and New Connections

June 19, 2018

Our last update took place just before the Good Ship Carlyn headed north to Anacortes. Our time in the San Juans is a particularly magical part of the season. With striking scenery and abundant wildlife, this season was no exception.

Our first trips out of Anacortes were with our friends at Anacortes Middle School, who also completed a SOURCE program exploring their local watershed in February. Their 3-day SOUND program allowed them to make further connections between the research they completed on their local watershed and how their findings might affect the Puget Sound. We also had the chance to work with Cap Sante High School students, which was a fun way to connect with another neighboring school.
The next few trips brought returning schools and longtime friends from Open Window School, Peak to Peak Charter School (all the way from Colorado!) and Pacific Northern Academy (coming from Alaska!) During our time with Peak to Peak Charter School, students had the chance to conduct their own research aboard the Carlyn and visit Friday Harbor Labs to learn about professional science research currently being done on the Salish Sea. It was an inspirational partnership, and one that we hope to replicate for future expeditions.

Another highlight of our season was connecting with Friday Harbor Elementary School students over two day programs, an experience that was made possible through the generosity of the San Juan Island Nature Institute.

The season rounded out with a great trip with a group from the Girl Scouts of Western Washington, as well as new friends from Central Elementary and Whitefish High School (who made the journey from Montana by train!) We also had a great time with our returning friends from Alderwood Middle School.

We’re also enormously grateful for the scholarship support that made it possible for us to invite students from West Hills STEM Academy, who got up SO VERY EARLY in the morning to join us for a day program out of Anacortes. They were such an enthusiastic group of kiddos (check out this post on Facebook) and we hope to have them back. This Salish experience would not have been possible for these students without support from our donors — we are grateful.

In late May, we hosted our 10th Annual Salish Sea Student Science Symposium at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. In a new program format, we invited student groups to share their research as representatives of their expedition during an evening showcase. This year we were wowed by research presented by students from The Island School, Anacortes Middle School and Peak to Peak Charter School (in absentia).

We also had the privilege of hearing from educators from Islandwood who participated in a Salish educator sail in May. These graduate students shared insights from the inquiry-based learning they did while aboard, and also reflected on the role of educator in experiential learning.

Finally, we were treated to a wonderful presentation from Puget Sound Restoration Fund, and learned a wealth of information about kelp restoration and its unique ecological function. We’re so appreciative to Stephen Schreck and Amy Brodbeck for joining us for the evening, and sharing their research.

To see photos of this season’s programs and the symposium, you can browse on Flickr, or join the Salish community on Instagram or Facebook.

At the end of another successful season, we want to extend a special thank you to all the teachers and community group leaders who made these experiences a priority for their students. We are grateful for your commitment, and honored to be your partners in learning. Also, to our participating families, thank you for entrusting us with your children.

Did you participate in a program? We’d love to hear about your experience! Your story can help us inspire more students, teachers and parents to join us in adventurous learning. Click here to share now.

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