On March 9-11, I joined a group of Rainier Beach students that went on the Salish Sea Expeditions Field Trip. The group experimented with water samples from the Puget Sound, learned how a sailing ship operated and cooked delicious food.
As we departed from the Elliott Bay Marina early Wednesday morning, the rain started to come down softly. Captain Ryan Downs and his crew taught us safety procedures and how the ship was run. The class sat quietly on the deck as the crew undocked us from the marina and then proceeded to bring the ship out of Elliott Bay. Read more ›
She is sixty-one feet bow to stern with a thirteen foot beam, the sleek, white yawl rig called Carlyn. Sails taut with Northwest breeze, she plies the waters of Puget Sound, also known as the Salish Sea, from Olympia to the San Juan Islands. Salish Sea Expeditions calls the Carlyn their floating classroom, loading her with, among other tools, plankton nets, microscopes, colorimeters, Niskin bottles for taking water samples, and Secchi disks to measure water clarity, all to give kids in grades five through 12 the exciting, real-life experience of doing science. Read more ›
Happy World Ocean Day, a global celebration honoring the ocean that gives us so much and links us across the globe. This year the theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change.
The Ocean Project, which coordinates World Ocean Day, believes that we share the responsibility of ensuring our ocean is protected for future generations.
In that same vein, the scientists at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration strive to share their knowledge and experiences with young people to inspire them to careers in ocean science. Read more ›
Bainbridge Island-based Salish Sea Expeditions has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Boeing Co. to pilot the inclusion of a rehabilitation or restoration project as part of its successful Source watershed research program.
The Source program engages middle and high school students in scientific research in their local watersheds to understand the factors that influence the health of the ecosystem. The two pilot programs will happen in Tacoma-area schools, with students focusing on the Puyallup watershed.
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For some Renton seventh‐graders, a sailing expedition on Puget Sound was their first trip outside the area.
“They did a lot of firsts during this trip,” said Dimmitt science teacher Michelle Opiniano.
About 19 Dimmitt Middle School students took a three‐day science expedition in October, many sailing for the first time.
“It was quite an amazing opportunity for a lot of the students,” she said.
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Salish Sea Expeditions, a local nonprofit, tries to make learning science fun, rather than intimidating, by bringing fifth- through 12th-graders aboard its floating classroom — on its research vessel that sails the Puget Sound.
Science can be scary. Its numbers, formulas and alien terminology intimidate hundreds of thousands of students into liberal-arts degrees each year.
Krystal Stewart, a 17-year-old senior at Mount Si High School, shied away from science after struggling to keep up with the avalanche of facts in her chemistry and biology classes.
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Although this may seem like a joke, the punch line is true. A father is sailing the waters of Puget Sound with his child when the young boy spies an otter pup, portside. He is fascinated with the curious creature and so when the man gets home, he pulls out his son’s new Oxford Children’s Dictionary so his child can learn just a little bit more. Funny thing, “otter” isn’t listed. Nor are more than 100 other nature words like minnow, lobster, heron and pelican. Why? To make room for technology terms like broadband, chatroom, MP3 player and blog. Even “blackberry,” the fruit, has been replaced by “Blackberry,” the handheld communication device.
In these fast-forward days of high-tech, the Oxford example is just one more indication that the faster kids plug into technology, the faster they are being disconnected from nature. So how do we stem the tide and help keep kids connected to the natural world? Salish Sea Expeditions has an answer.
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Huddled in a circle at Eagle Harbor, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, 26 Bainbridge High School students passionately discussed their scientific conclusions when Mollie Caka, Salish Sea Expeditions’ Program Coordinator, asked what they learned.
“We learned we were wrong,” blurted our Amy Hamilton, a 17 year-old senior. “We weren’t wrong. We just weren’t right,” another student volleyed back.
Parents, waiting in the wings to pick up their children, marveled aloud at the energetic and honest answers from these young sailors and scientists who had just returned from a three-day sailing expedition aboard Carlyn, a 61-foot research vessel. Read more ›