Youth Program

Subcategories from this category: Green

 

To continue this week’s seabird theme, I facilitated two different activities with the youth program students focusing on migration and feathers.

The first activity, involving feathers and what happens to a bird’s feathers in an oil spill, can be found here.

Keys to this activity are to allow students time to observe their feather, think about the behavior of seabirds, and ponder how an oil spill might affect a seabird.  Though this activity requires materials such as vegetable oil, dish soap, and feathers it clearly demonstrates how feathers function and are negatively affected by oil.  Additionally, because the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred only three years ago, many students still remember and can relate to this tragedy.

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in Green

Every Tuesday during the summer at Courageous is Trash Race Tuesday!  Last week, Emily wrote about Trash Races but I would like to write a bit more about the full instructions and intention of this activity.

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in Green

This week’s theme is Seabird Specialists!  Boston has many seabirds, which our sailing students often see out on the water.  Cormorants, gulls, and terns are among the most frequently noted species.  Though seabirds might not be the most glamorous creatures, they play an important role in the ecosystem and are actually more interesting than they might appear.  For example, Artic Terns, who often stop by Boston Harbor along their annual migration route, have one of the longest migrations (by distance) of any bird- traveling about 25,000 miles each year!

Cormorants are one of the animals that spend the most time in the water around the sailing center and tend to raise the most questions among our sailing students.  These sleek, black birds are some of the fastest and deepest diving birds in the world!  Most commonly, cormorants are spotted sitting on mooring balls and rocks with their wings outstretched because their feathers are not waterproof, unlike other birds whose feathers repel water to keep them warm.  Cormorant’s feathers intentionally absorb water to help weigh them down so they can dive deeper and faster to catch fish. 

Both cormorants and terns inspired this week’s activities.  More information on that coming soon!

in Green

 

It is clear from Emily’s post that The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean is an amazing organization who’s visit to Courageous Sailing Center is highly anticipated every year by students and staff alike!

I used to work for Rozalia Project as their Director of Outreach, so I know first hand how influential this organization really is.  Not only does Rozalia Project pick up trash from the surface of the water, the sea floor, and off beaches and coastlines around the country, but they also study the debris they find.  At Courageous, we use Rozalia Project’s data card to keep track of all the trash that we pick up.  This shows students that cleaning up debris really does make a difference and is part of important scientific studies.  Rozalia Project analyzes the data that we give them, along with their own data, to try to work towards solutions to marine debris. You can find Rozalia Project’s data card to use at your own facility here.

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in Green

Last week Step 1 split into two groups and did a "trash race" in the park to see who could pick up the most trash. They learned about marine debris and all of the reasons why it is harmful to animals and our economy. We learned that 70% of all the trash found in water comes from on land. Instructors helped collect the trash and tally it in various categories, a system created by the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean. The Rozalia Project is a group of people who travel around New England on a sailboat called the American Promise, picking up trash and educating others about keeping the ocean clean. The Rozalia Project has been visiting Boston for the past week, and Step 1 got to go on the boat and see what the Rozalia Project does. They showed us their trash-collecting robot, Hector the Collector, and we even got to see it in action. The kids learned that they really do make a difference when it comes to cleaning up the ocean. It was a great week for the instructors as well!

in Green