Role: I played a primary in the creation, development, and piloting of this new school program. The program is now offered at the Aquarium and was presented at the National Marine Educator’s Association Conference in July 2008 and received rave reviews.
Program Description: The program encourages students to look more closely at how humans are affecting marine ecosystems. Students begin their journey by learning the natural characteristics of three different ecosystems – rocky reefs, kelp forests and coral reefs – through a series of demonstrations with props and gallery observations. In the second half of the program, students return to the classroom to build model ecosystems like the ones they just observed. Then, they are given a range of scenarios to “develop” their ecosystems where they are encouraged to strike a balance between economics and the environment.
Role in program development: After a some time participating in group brain storming meetings, I took on the leading role in researching curriculum needs, outlining program learning objectives, and designing interactive lessons. I created the hands-on activities and student instructions for each ‘ecosystem station’ and built the props and learning materials required. I also wrote the initial volunteer training documents and trained a group of volunteers to help deliver the program as a pilot to several visiting classes.