Mornings with a Side of Science by Aaron Cuison

Spring Break is typically regarded as a time to take a break from school. To put a pause on your education and enjoy the changing of the seasons. However, learning never stops; so why not enjoy the view and get your hands dirty while you are at it? Our Marine Science Mornings program brings students kindergarten through 5th grade into the classroom and out onto the shore where they learn the foundations of marine science. Marine Science Mornings is broken up by topics throughout the week, for convenience, as students can choose to attend select days or the entire week. From fish and turtles to whelks and tidal flats, students enjoy a variety of crafts and outings that reinforce the topic of the day.
In the classroom, the day begins with a little discussion on the topic of the day. Interactive lectures promotes inductive reasoning and critical thinking through guided questions from our instructors. With their brains all warmed up, students stroll along the beach in search of specimens to investigate. The older children can assist in seine netting where critters can be examined & brought back into the Ecosystem Lab.
With creatures in hand, students take a second to observe and then flood instructors with a plethora of questions. “Why are these oysters bunched up?” “What is the silver stripe on this fish for? With a little help and some guided questioning, usually they can figure out the answers on their own & feel more accomplished for being able to do so.
Surrounded by over 1,000 gallons of fresh and salt water fish tanks, inspiration isn’t hard to find for these kids as they engage in a variety of crafts. Some of their favorites are decorating their very own paper hermit crab, creating a paper plate tidal pool with all their favorite creatures in it, or even Gyotaku, the traditional Japanese art of printing fish!
It’s hard to get these students to go home with their parents after a day of adventure. Some even parade their parents around the Ecosystem Lab showing them all they’ve learned. Some students want to keep placing captured specimens into tanks to find a new home, or to feed the oyster toad fish! Alas, Friday comes & all the children have a mutual desire to explore the beach further, find something they haven’t before, & not go back to regular school.
However, marine science mornings are just a taste of what our programs offer. If your student has enjoyed our spring break program, or if you think your student would like to have attended, then look into our Junior Summer Programs. There are a variety of different courses that mix marine science & sailing from kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information please visit www.theWaterFrontCenter.org/junior-summer-programs-camp