NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard US Coast Guard Ship Healy
April 20 – May 15, 2007
Mission: Bering Sea Ecosystem Survey
Geographic Region: Alaska
Date: April 27, 2007
We took the zodiac to St. George Island today, an island that is part of the Pribilof Islands, north of the Aleutian chain. Right after breakfast, the team of scientists and others (us teacher kine) were directed to the helo area (where the helicopter is stored) to put on our survival suits. The MS 900.
Since I was going to have my students try on the suit I was wearing, I was able to keep it on, and change into my street clothes at the school.
The zodiac ride over was so much FUN! Splash, splash, kersplash, the person at the front of the bow got very wet.
The rest of us hid behind him and let him take the salty spray. Once on the island, we were transported to the school via a little white bus.
THAT’S when the fun really began!
We did an icebreaking activity (person bingo) that was a real hit! Each person had a piece of paper with 20 questions. Each person had to find someone in the general meeting area who could answer that question right. Then, they put their name on the sheet. The first one with a complete blackout wins.
Then we rolled into our next activity, ‘Which creature do you identify with best?’ There were loads of people who stood by the polar bear, humpback whale, and walrus. The phytoplankton and pollock were ignored by everyone. Hopefully by the end of the day, they might warm up to this microscopic creature and learn that it controls the entire ecosystem.
The elementary students and middle schools funneled through my stations. Of course their favorite was the station about Hawaii, mostly because of the treats I offered, perhaps? I do believe they have learned a little more about my island home and the students I teach. I hope we can continue or friendship via a blog spot I recently set up. They were incredibly respectful and curious students!
We brought the four high schoolers and some teachers and community members back to the ship with us. They were given a nice tour of the boat and supper. Back to the zodiacs they went. We waved aloha to our new friends.