SLIME, CORAL, AND KIDS, OH MY!
This past month, two of our interns, Rick and Sabine, travelled to Coral Reef Elementary School to teach the kids more about Coral Restoration Foundation™! Sabine and Rick set up a hands-on education station outside, and different classes took turns heading outside for some fun in the sun. About 600 kids visited the table, and were able to make slime with us and color coral cut-outs to hang on a Coral Tree.
CRF™ Interns Rick and Sabine at Coral Reef Elementary School.
Some kids knew a lot about coral reefs and CRF™ which was exciting to hear. And the kids that didn't know much about them were extremely interested to learn more! Not only was this entire group of kids super enthusiastic about learning through our activities, they asked terrific questions! The teachers were also excited by their kids' eagerness to learn. Thank you for having us, Coral Reef Elementary School!
THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS
Last month, we were asked to help judge the KLS STEM Fair. Shane, our Education Intern, attended the event as a judge along with teachers and members of various STEM fields throughout the keys and southeast Florida.
There were many different age groups participating in this event with a large variety of experience in STEM fairs, and the scientific process in general. Shane was able to see presentations from older and younger groups, and was very impressed with their experiments and how well prepared they were to present their studies.
CRF™ Intern Shane judges projects along with Analisa Duran, Jim Doran, and Victoria Doran.
Shane, along with three other judges, Analisa Duran, Jim Doran, and Victoria Doran, were responsible for judging one of the youngest grades participating in the STEM Fair. These third grade students primarily focused on developing questions and answering them using the scientific method. They also focused on how to present and what makes a good presentation.
Some students had very creative experiment topics while others chose to focus more on the process of the scientific method with simpler experiments. But what really matters is that these students had fun investigating a topic they were interested in, and getting valuable learning experience from a panel of experienced judges within this field.
Coral Reef Elementary School student project.
Every student was given some advice for future STEM projects and some were also given suggestions on ways to improve their current projects. They were encouraged and reminded that this is the same way that everyone in STEM begins. The panel of judges were very impressed by this group overall, and excited to see what things these young scientists do next!
As we ring in the new year, we reflect back on the people who made 2019 an especially promising year: our interns! We couldn't do what we do without our incredible team of interns. From on land to underwater, they help us do it all. In 2019 alone, our team of interns accounted for over half of our hours underwater. That's a whopping 4,485 hours underwater!
Not only do our interns spend a large portion of their time underwater, from maintaining our Coral Nurseries to outplanting onto the reef and everything in between, they're also consistently supporting our staff on land. If you're a frequent reader of the Coral Chronicles, you'll notice that all of our content is written by interns!
In addition to the unparalleled support we receive from our interns, we also want to acknowledge all of the amazing people who volunteered with us in 2019. Whether you volunteered for one day or 100 days, we appreciate your time. Our volunteers accounted for over one quarter of our hours underwater which equates to 2,189 hours!
If you'd like to make a difference for our coral reefs in 2020, join us for a Coral Restoration Dive Program or check out our volunteer program at coralrestoration.org/get-involved.
For more information or to sign up, contact our Recreational Dive Program Coordinator Roxane (email@example.com)
Please note: all in-water activities are weather dependent.
"Heads Up" Editorial Intern
Shane's love for the ocean was obvious from a young age. During family trips to Cape Cod, he would spend all his time digging in the sand or wading through water and grass, net and bucket in hand, looking for any creatures he could catch. He continued to explore his passion by learning as much as he could from books and documentaries. He began scuba diving in 2011, and would eventually graduate from Stony Brook University in 2018 with a B.S. in Marine Vertebrate Biology. It was during his time at Stony Brook that he developed a desire to not only improve the conditions of our oceans and planet, but to educate others and share his passion. Shane is ecstatic to be a part of the CRF team. He looks forward to learning as much as he can while directly contributing to the health of our reefs and educating and inspiring future generations to share his passion.