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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Belfer

Behind the Scenes at Marine CSI

Ever wonder what we do when we're not teaching in schools or highlighting some of our lessons on social media and at events? We're filling you in on our little secret - what we do behind-the-scenes! Hint: it's a lot of paperwork.

It takes a lot to put together a fun-filled and engaging lesson, but we are always up for the challenge. These past two years we've been hit with some super challenges, for sure! Hurricanes Florence and Dorian set us back from going into schools and teaching some amazing activities. Now, the pandemic cut short our springtime and threatens to hold back our fall programming.

Nevertheless, we persevere and we adapt. During the summer, we know that this pandemic is going to alter our lessons in the fall and possibly into next spring. We want to make sure each student we interact with in the future is safe, practicing social distancing guidelines, and our lessons adhere to the proper CDC guidelines. It wasn't easy, because our lessons are all about fun in groups, whether that's a pair of students, a group of 4-5 students, or a whole class together. You can view them here.

Some of our lessons just can't be adapted for smaller group size or social distancing. These involve the entire class performing an activity as a whole, with components that require them to move around the classroom or an outdoor area and be in each other's space. Some, if not most, of our lessons have shared materials that we provide to the class. These materials are being altered so that we have some way to clean and disinfect them after each class has used them, so there is little to no contamination between classes. That means a LOT of laminating! We've even gone so far as to divide up materials per class so that individual classes will have their own materials.

As we announced last month, we have also created a way for kids to explore their natural world on their own, without us coming into their classrooms. We published two awesome books, both available on Amazon. The Explore Your Watershed Adventure Guide can be used in a variety of ecosystems and it's a great way for young kids to actively perform experiments in the field. The Explore Your Watershed Coloring and Activity Book is great for those rainy summer days, when there's not much to do inside.

Those rainy days are also perfect for other activities and experiments at home. We've also made individual lessons not taught in the schools available online in PDF format. You can do these with simple at home materials and they're great to do as a family. We also have some fun activities for kids, similar to our coloring and activity book on our Kids Page. Throughout the beginning of July, we'll highlight a few of these activities on our Facebook page, so be sure to check them out there as well.

The month of July will be packed full of getting our individual lessons prepared for the fall. We are keeping an eye on what will be required by the state health department and what our government feels is the best course of action for our students. We want them to be safe and healthy when they return in the fall. Stay safe this summer and enjoy the beautiful ecosystems we have right here along our coast with our brand new books.

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