What I do know if this…..We were on time, all the students were either wet or muddy, every single one of our students had big smiles on their faces at the end of the day, and the kids that I talked to thought it was neat and that they learned things. I think that is a successful field trip. SEA did a fantastic job of putting together activities for each of our age levels (K – 11), getting the kids to run around, touch, smell, and think about things that I am pretty sure most had not done before, and it was super well organized.
I can only mention what I saw the kids doing, but the kids in K – 2nd went on a beach scavenger hunt, talked about animals living in ponds and looked at pond scum. The 3rd – 4th graders waded into the wetlands, looked at what lives in the wetlands, learned about mangroves, how to tag and observe turtles when nesting, and talked about marine conservation. The 5th – 6th graders did a wetlands activity, bird watching, and beach exploration. The 7th – 12th graders went seining along the shore for fish.
A was well prepared and was able to answer questions and ask her own intelligent questions – which made me proud but also a bit embarrassed. Especially when she asked how Turtles reproduce. I will give the presenter credit though because she didn’t bat an eye and answered her with a simple explanation of how male turtles have hooks in their flippers and actually hook the females “shoulders” which is why sometimes females have scars in that area. New factiod for us all. A also brought me a black mangrove leaf that was covered in salt and we licked it to taste the salt. It tasted –salty. I can’t see harvesting salt that way, but next time I’m at a beach and need salt for my sandwich I know which mangrove species to use.
One of the older girls thought it was cool that she got to catch baby barracuda and other fish. Since she had never held a barracuda before it was interesting. She did say that the lecture got a bit boring since it was so long. At the end she told her mom that she wanted to go home and shower since she felt slimy. I love high school girls! She didn’t seem too upset by it though and she was smiling; although she is one of the nicest, smiliest girls I know as it is.
If you ever get a chance to participate in one of SEA’s activities, do so. They are a great organization and they do a lot of good for our little slice of paradise.
I also want to thank VINE, the Virgin Islands Network of Environmental Educators for turning out on this field day. We look forward to doing many more things with them :) Check out their blog.