Marine Education: Middle School
Our Middle School Education Program offers both one-time and multiple visit curriculum. Save Our Shores understands the added value of hands-on learning experiences and therefore encourages teachers to couple our in-class curriculum with field opportunities.
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Activities and Presentations:
Introduction to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and local watersheds: This PowerPoint presentation covers many topics including: the basics of the MBNMS (size, reach, protections and resources); the ecosystems, animals and plants that inhabit the MBNMS; the basics of a watershed and the specifics of the watershed that your school is located within.
Introduction to the Plastic Pollution Plague: This PowerPoint presentation teaches students about the basics of the marine debris issue (what it is, where it comes from, and how long it persists in the marine environment); the impact of marine debris on marine animals and ecosystems; American consumer habits and how they relate to marine debris; US waste generation and recycling statistics; and how students can contribute to solving the marine debris plague.
Introduction to Sustainable Fisheries and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs): This PowerPoint presentation teaches students about fisheries worldwide. We discuss what seafood is best to eat to sustain fisheries for the future and keep pressure of of recovering fisheries. The presentation also includes information on MPAs, as well as what local MPAs along the Central Coast encompass.
Living Downstream: This activity is great for middle school and high school students as it touches on the issues of non-point source pollution and management of shared resources. Students are assigned a piece of property along a river and asked to identify and draw activities they would like to do on their land. This is a fun way for students to learn the difference between point and non-point source pollution, as well as to recognize that everyone contributes to and is responsible for the water quality of our rivers and oceans. A follow-up discussion on best management practices will be provided in order to identify common pollution sources in our Bay and stress important actions each student can take to help prevent pollution.
Perils of Plastic: Through a simulated activity where students are assigned a marine animal, students see first hand how difficult it is for animals to feed, especially when they are hindered by marine debris. Through three rounds of play, students must collect colored beads, representing their food source and track them on a calorie chart. In the later rounds, some students will be told that they have become entangled in a piece of plastic and therefore must not use their right hand to gather food. This is a fun activity that stresses the detrimental impact of debris on our marine animals.
Food Web: This activity is fun to engage upper elementary and middle school students. Each student is given a card with a picture of a marine animal and a description of what types of animals they feed on. As students form a circle, a ball of yarn is introduced, as students are asked to pass it along to an animal in the circle that they feed on. This is an effective way to help students understand the interconnectedness of organisms in the environment. In addition, booby trap cards will be introduced that simulate what happens when marine debris enters into the food web.
Fishing for the Future: This activity is recommended for middle to high school students. Through a fun fishing simulation, students model several consecutive seasons of a fishery and explore how technology, population growth, and sustainable practices impact fish catch and fisheries management. As the students progress through each fishing "season", they will begin to over-fish their "ocean". Students will gain first hand experience to the "Tragedy of the Commons" as it relates to fishing resources and will consider the social, environmental and economic impacts of overfishing.
Exploring Watersheds: Demonstration-based, this presentation uses our watershed model to simulate how humans interact with their watersheds. Students are asked to share common examples of human activities on land and through the model can visually see how those activities impact the ocean when it rains. Includes discussion of point and non-point source pollution and the water cycle. Students are asked to identify action they can take to help prevent pollution.
Beach, river or campus cleanups: Students feel like part of the solution to marine debris when they participate in a cleanup. Cleanups are most impactful with a prior classroom visit, however basic concepts can be presented at the beach prior to the cleanup. Cleanups can be scheduled at a beach or river location close to your school or on your campus! To learn more about this valuable field component, visit our Beach & River Cleanups page.
- Monthly Beach Cleanups
- Private & School Cleanups
- Adopt-a-Beach Cleanups
- Meet the Beach Adopters
- Earth Day
- July 4th & 5th
- Annual Coastal Cleanup Day
- Cleanup Calendar
Special Projects & Internships
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