CCMI offers new virtual reef lessons

| 14/02/2019
CNS Local Life
Still from 2018 Reefs Go Live broadcast (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS Local Life): The Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) is bringing back its Reefs Go Live programme, which originally launched last year, that provides a virtual underwater experience in real time. Marine scientists on “live dives” in Little Cayman will bring the ocean directly into the classroom.

CCMI’s education team has developed six new lessons that will be available starting in March.

In a press release, CCMI credited the support of the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation, Island Heritage and Stuarts Walker Hersant Humphries, in enabling the institute “to further develop and streamline the programme to make it an even more relevant teaching tool”.

Topics that will be presented in 2019 broadcasts include Incredible Invertebrates, Fish Tales: Fish Adaptations, Diving off the Wall, Magnificent Mangroves and Fabulous Food Chains. All of the lessons are aligned with Cayman’s national curriculum in science standards, which assists teachers in knowing how participation in the programme can help achieve the teaching standards as set forth by the Ministry of Education.

“Reefs Go Live is designed so that all students are able to have direct access to learning about coral reefs through participating in the live dive sessions,” said Katie Correia, CCMI science and education manager. “Having the chance to see coral reefs live and ask questions directly to the scientist who is underwater is a special experience where students have an unforgettable interaction with an ecosystem that is so important to the Cayman Islands.’

In addition to presenting the six new lessons, CCMI has partnered with Appleby and the Oliver S. and Jennie R. Donaldson Charitable Trust to run teacher-training sessions to prepare local educators for Reefs Go Live, the press release said.

CNS Local Life
Katie Correia of CCMI demonstrates coral bleaching to students (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

In Grand Cayman, teachers from eight different schools attended a workshop held 12 February on how to use the programme to enhance teaching in the classroom, what new lessons would be shared, and how information aligned with the objectives for the national curriculum in science. Attendees received a printed book of the 12 lesson plans for Reefs Go Live (which included the 2018 lessons) as well as a resource kit containing items to continue the educational experience beyond the broadcasts. A similar session is planned for teachers in the Sister Islands.

The materials provided will aid teachers in discussions about environmental changes and coral bleaching, ocean acidification and even on dissecting a lionfish to show their students this process as part of a lesson on invasive species.

As the programme grows and develops, CCMI plans to offer an expanded resource section on the website that will allow teachers to download lesson information and activity sheets, view pre-recorded tutorials and question-and-answer sessions from past lessons, and provide additional support to integrate extension activities into the classroom.

“We want to offer tools that will help teachers meet their teaching objectives and keep teachers engaged in what we are doing at CCMI throughout the year,” said Correia.

The new broadcasts of Reefs Go Live will begin 20 March with “Welcome Back to Reefs Go Live: A Review of Coral Reefs”. While aimed primarily towards covering science objectives for Years 5 and 6, information shared during each broadcast may be applicable to other ages and can be included in cross-curricular activities, CCMI said in the release.

Teachers who would like more information about the programme and how to register their class for free can email CCMI at

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Category: Environment, Marine Environment

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