She and the Sea: and Ocean Literacy?Coastal School for Girls?


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The ocean is the defining feature of our planet. Ocean Literacy means understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. There are 7 principles of Ocean Literacy — ideas scientists and educators agree everyone should understand about the ocean.

First let’s talk about the ocean.

The ocean is the defining feature of our planet. Ocean Literacy means understanding the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean. There are 7 principles of Ocean Literacy — ideas scientists and educators agree everyone should understand about the ocean.

Here is a set of ideas about ocean literacy

  1. Ocean life ranges in size from the smallest virus to the largest animal that has lived on Earth, the blue whale.
  2. Most life in the ocean exists as microbes. Microbes are the most important primary producers in the ocean. Not only are they the most abundant life form in the ocean, they have extremely fast growth rates and life cycles.
  3. Some major groups are found exclusively in the ocean. The diversity of major groups of organisms is much greater in the ocean than on land.
  4. Ocean biology provides many unique examples of life cycles, adaptations and important relationships among organisms (such as symbiosis, predator-prey dynamics and energy transfer) that do not occur on land.
  5. The ocean is three-dimensional, offering vast living space and diverse habitats from the surface through the water column to the seafloor. Most of the living space on Earth is in the ocean.
  6. Ocean habitats are defined by environmental factors. Due to interactions of abiotic factors such as salinity, temperature, oxygen, pH, light, nutrients, pressure, substrate and circulation, ocean life is not evenly distributed temporally or spatially, i.e., it is “patchy”. Some regions of the ocean support more diverse and abundant life than anywhere on Earth, while much of the ocean is considered a desert.
  7. There are deep ocean ecosystems that are independent of energy from sunlight and photosynthetic organisms. Hydrothermal vents, submarine hot springs, and methane cold seeps rely only on chemical energy and chemosynthetic organisms to support life.
  8. Tides, waves and predation cause vertical zonation patterns along the shore, influencing the distribution and diversity of organisms.
  9. Estuaries provide important and productive nursery areas for many marine and aquatic species.

In my life I have met Dr . Valerie Chase , Dr. Valerie Chase is an educator with MAMEA. Her work is based out of the National Aquarium in Baltimore. You can take a virtual tour here.

Sylvia Earle and other women who  go down to the sea inspire us. They have been sharing their work with students nationally. Here is a look at Sylvia Earle at work.

There are other photos of Sylvia Earl  at work here.

What makes women study the sea? Art, music, poetry, and sea and she stories,and maybe the coastal school for girls. Their mission is to provides high school sophomores with an opportunity to excel in science and technology in a community defined by academic, experiential and inspirational learning. CSG students engage in scientific inquiry, leadership development, critical thinking and stewardship while developing their educational and career aspirations. CSG strives to create a diverse ethnic, geographical and socioeconomic community for students and staff who celebrate success. What a wonderful opportunity for girls.

But did you know about it? Do you know about Citizen Science? If we involve girls in experiences they will relate and know if they are interested in any of the subjects that are a part of ociean study.

What is an oceanographer? If girls do not have exposure to ocean science they will not choose it as a career track.

An oceanographer can be a biologist, chemist, physicist, geologist, engineer, mathematician, computer scientist, meteorologist, or you! As a relatively new frontier, oceanography is a wonderfully challenging and exciting field of study providing many career opportunities. It’s an important field of study because oceans encompass 70% of the earth’s surface, and they also have an important role in understanding global weather patterns.

Chemical, geological, and physical oceanographers investigate the physical aspects of the ocean, such as salinity, currents, and the ocean floor. Biological oceanographers study marine plants and animals and their processes within the context of their ocean environments. Ocean engineers provide the technology and instrumentation that allows oceanographers to explore questions and solve problems in a variety of ways.

Where can girls learn about oceanography? Ocean Literacy? How can they learn about possible STEM careers?
Earthwatch.org

Student Fellowships

Through the generosity of individual donors and foundations committed to global sustainability and learning, Earthwatch is able to provide sophomores and juniors with fellowship opportunities.

Earthwatch student fellows get to join one of Earthwatch’s expeditions around the world to work with top scientists and other students in the field, fully funded by various funders. On an expedition, students learn how to do field research and help find answers to the most challenging environmental issues of our time — all while making a difference for endangered animals and their habitats. Students use some of the latest technology (like GPS and radio-transmitters for tracking animals), learn about cutting edge research areas (like climate change), and work in places most people never get to see (like an Icelandic glacier or a Costa Rican volcano).

Students don’t need to have done anything like this before, and don’t need to have taken any particular science classes to go. All they need is curiosity, an ability to work hard as part of a team, a thirst for adventure, and a desire to make a difference.

Aquarium Outreach
 Some children have access to after school programs from aquariums.  Some children get to go to Summer camps. But at the high school level, what is there?There is Earthwatch. There is the Sant Hall of Science. Find your Blue in the Sant Hall of Science.

Coastal Studies for Girls is the country’s only residential science and leadership semester school for 10th grade girls. CSG is dedicated to girls who have a love for learning and discovery, an adventurous spirit, and a desire to challenge themselves


Coastal Studies for Girls is the country’s first residential science and leadership semester school for 10th grade girls.  We are the only single-gender residential semester school and the only semester school that focuses on science and leadership.  That intersection of science and leadership opportunities for girls is particularly valuable to our students and to society.  The mission of Coastal Studies for Girls (CSG) is to inspire, train, and empower girls to be scientists, environmental stewards, and leaders.

WCSH video

CSG girls featured in Portland, Maine television program

Why science and leadership?
Building on research in girls’ development, gender issues education, and best practices in pedagogy, CSG has been carefully designed to promote girls’ aspirations in the sciences and leadership.  On a societal level, we aim to help close the gender gap in science and to feed the “pipeline” that leads to qualified scientists in the workforce.  On an individual level, we aim to raise career aspirations for girls to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields and make it more likely that young women can achieve economic self-sufficiency in the future.  Yet regardless of career choices, the confidence and the ability to transfer their learnings in leadership is what makes the science powerful – or possible. There is also a strong emphasis on how girls view themselves, how they interact with others, and how they care for and steward the world. It is the intersection of all of these things that creates the magic here.

Why only girls?

Research has demonstrated the effects of societal beliefs and the learning environment on girls’ achievements and their interest in science and math and CSG provides an option that reverses negative trends.  Girls need supportive, stimulating programs and women role models that foster inspiration, self-confidence, concrete skills, as well as a strong understanding of science and the range of careers that involve science.  Our campus on a 626 acre salt water farm is a safe and supportive  place to explore the complexities of teenage life and to grow intellectually, to find their voices, and develop self-confidence.

What is the program?
The primary CSG program is either a fall or spring semester, (16 weeks) translating into 448+ academic hours of study and residential time.  The curriculum centers on three strands:  (1) science—classes on coastal marine ecology with significant field work and a major independent research project] (2) leadership—adventure-based, experiential learning opportunities to promote personal growth and engage students in physical activity; and (3) core academics—history, English, math, and languages.  During a typical week, a girl may have core classes in the mornings, and focused science and leadership classes in the afternoons.    On Fridays and weekends, students have academic field trips or enjoy the outdoors through kayaking, camping, snow shoeing, rock climbing, and other activities that teach leadership skills.  Students are exposed to a multitude of women scientists and leaders through our visiting guest and  lecture series.

Why sophomore year?
This is a pivotal time as girls are mature enough for a residential program, yet we hope to influence them early enough in their high school experience to impact decisions they make in their junior year about college and study options.  They return back to their home communities with enhanced leadership skills to make positive contributions.

Who attends?
CSG students attend the 16 week term during either the fall or spring of their 10th grade year.   Our first three terms have drawn students from 14 states, from rural Maine islands to the urban centers of New York City, Boston and Los Angeles, from the mountains of Vermont and North Carolina, to the heartland of Minnesota and the southern region of Tennessee. Whether they come from public, independent and home schooled environments, they are united in their love of learning and desire for challenge. We strive for a community that is ethnically, geographically, and socio-economically diverse; our first three terms represent have represented over 30% students of color.   Over 90% of our applicants have requested financial assistance and we have supported a significant number of applicants.


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