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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Belfer

New Year Recap

This past year saw some ups and downs for Marine CSI and it's always great at the beginning of a new year to reflect on the past year in order to look ahead. The first big news is that we are now an official business, with a deed from New Hanover County, NC. That means we can take our lessons on the road and adapt them for our very own programs. For the past few years, we have been strictly promoting our resources to educators, with the hopes of them adapting the lessons for their classrooms or their facilities. Now, we can do it all!

So that's exactly what we set out to do in the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. After a wobbly start of recruitment, we were able to make contact with five teachers, from elementary, middle, and high schools, that were interested in having us come in and teach a few lessons to their students. We were ready to go in September with two full schedules for two different high schools.

And then Hurricane Florence came to town. She battered our area with 75mph winds and over 20 inches of rain. When she looped back around our state, she flooded our rivers over capacity and the areas of town that normally wouldn't flood, did. This closed schools for about three weeks. This delayed us greatly with getting into the schools to teach the marine science we know and love.

But somehow, we managed to do it. With our partnership with Ashley High School, we were able to schedule several lessons for their Marine Science Academy, marine science general population class, and marine science after-school cohort. All in all, we educated 99 students through four lessons. Students learned about ocean dynamics, climate change, and how to properly manage a barrier island community through a debate. They worked together in teams, they had fun building, and their knowledge of marine science and oceanography was enhanced by our lessons.

We were also grateful for the opportunity to again share our resources with other educators at the regional Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association conference in November. Through our workshop session, we interacted with 24 educators through two lessons. Although this was the only workshop we were able to conduct this year, we have many more on the horizon.

As we begin the new year, we want to take time to thank those people who have been influential in getting us to where we are today. Thank you to Regina Borriello and Kasie Regnier, for without your contributions and guidance, the resources would not exist. Thank you to those people in NJ who allowed us the time opportunity to test our lessons in the classroom and who saw potential in this growing business. Thank you to New Hanover County for accepting our application to become a certified business. And thank you to the supporters we have on Facebook and those who continue to educate about marine science. Without you, there'd be no us.

Happy New Year!

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