Students can win field trip to CCMI

| 14/05/2018
CNS Local Life

John A Cumber Primary students at CCMI

(CNS Local Life): Three classes from government primary schools will win a trip to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) in Little Cayman to attend a residential marine ecology course in the fall of 2018. During the three-day, two-night field trip participants will live at CCMI and learn firsthand about the oceans.

Taught by CCMI’s expert marine science education team, participants will learn that their lives are inextricably linked to the ocean, especially as their homes are situated on small tropical islands, stated a press release. During their stay, the students will take part in a variety of activities, including snorkelling, marine species identification, beach cleanups, a field trip to the National Trust and the Booby Pond, guided iguana tours and biking. Students will also experience ongoing science projects such as lionfish dissections and laboratory experiments testing how future climate change will impact the ocean and the creatures living there. For many students, this course will be their first “away from home” trip, and simply living at the field station is an experience in itself, the press release said.

To determine which classes are selected for these expenses-paid courses, sponsored by an anonymous donor, CCMI is running a contest starting this month, inviting classes from years 5 and 6 at the government schools to participate.

Interested classes should submit in a creative format how much it would mean to the class to visit CCMI, stated the press release. Submissions can be anything from a recorded song the class writes and sings together, to a poem written and read aloud by the class, an ocean-themed mural painted by the students or even a class beach clean-up with a creative sign made from the debris.

The CCMI team said it encourages students to get creative, and they look forward to seeing how students can express this sentiment.

Since 2009, more than 600 primary school students across the Cayman Islands have participated in this field trip to Little Cayman.

Dr Carrie Manfrino, president and director of research and conservation at CCMI, said she is pleased that supporters “recognise the extraordinary value in offering a residential field-based marine experience” to local students in government schools. “For many, the costs to attend such a programme with the flights, accommodations, food and more may (be) an insurmountable barrier to participation.

“CCMI has been able to offer hundreds of children full scholarships over the last 10 years thanks to amazing support by this donor. Because of their passion for this programme, 60 students will receive in-depth access to learning about oceans and coral reefs this year.”

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, 20 June, and these can be uploaded to Dropbox, with the link emailed to CCMI. Judges will announce the winners on Friday, 22 June.

Also in the fall, CCMI will debut a one-day version of the marine ecology course in Grand Cayman, with sponsorship by law firm Stuart Walker Hersant Humphries. CCMI will select a fourth winning class from the contest to pilot this programme.

CCMI science and education manager Katie Correia said she is excited to reach even more students with this newest offering. “By having an experience available in Grand Cayman, we can share our messages about coral reefs, conservation and having zero impact on the ocean with a much larger audience. This one-day course is the perfect chance to get students interested and involved in ocean conservation without having to travel off island.”

For more information about the marine ecology course visit the CCMI website

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Category: Environment, Marine Environment

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