Ocean workshop for teachers

The Central Caribbean Marine
Institute is bringing a new educational tool to primary teachers to help them
teach Cayman’s schoolchildren about aspects of the ocean.

The institute will introduce the
Ocean Literacy Project Planner to teachers this month in a free workshop.

This is the third phase of the
education programme, which the institute introduced three years ago.

To mark the launch of the new
planner, the marine institute is celebrating Ocean Literacy Day at Books & Books
at Camana Bay at Atlantis Submarine on Saturday, 28 August.

The Ocean Literacy Programme is the
result of a collaboration of CCMI staff and local and international scientists
and education specialists.

Kate Pellow of the Central
Caribbean Marine Institute said the goal of the programme is to “ensure that
every student in the Cayman Islands is ocean literate by the age of 12”.

So far, the programme has provided
consistent outreach support in local schools, developed a training manual and
web resource for teachers, and provided extensive training for local educators.

The companies and organisations
have supported the programme, and this year it was sponsored by KPMG, CUC and
Rotary Club Grand Cayman.

Expanding ocean literacy

“While ocean literacy is an
incredibly important topic, it unfortunately has very little focus in school
curricula worldwide. The ocean covers over 70 per cent of the Earth and is an
important habitat and resource for diverse ecosystems. 

“It is inextricably linked to
humans, it controls our weather and climate, it shapes the features of the
earth and it provides our water and oxygen. The Earth is essentially an ocean
planet. It is rare that schoolchildren are given this ‘big picture’ of the
ocean and its importance to life on Earth,” said Ms Pellow.

“The size and nature of the topic
therefore, has resulted in fragmented elements of ocean literacy being taught
over many education levels without a single coherent theme. The project planner
has been developed to help teachers tackle the size of this topic in a more
structured and clear way.

“The project planner includes
teacher presentations, online resources, classroom activities, lesson plans and
references to required curriculum,” Ms Pellow explained.

A combined effort

Both local primary school teachers
and principals have been involved with the development of the project planner’,
in association with literacy coaches, officials of Cayman Islands Ministry of
Education, and International Baccalaureate coaches. 

“This is truly a combined effort,
in response to the recognition of Ocean Literacy as an important topic for our
youth,” Ms Pellow said.

Ocean Literacy Day

In support of the launch of the
Ocean Literacy Project Planner and Ocean Literacy Day, Books & Books and
Atlantis Submarine are hosting two public events on Saturday, 28 August.

Books & Books will hold a
morning of story-telling and crafts, with an ocean theme for the younger generations.
The event will begin at 10am. The Central Caribbean Marine Institute will
provide giveaways and a face painter for added fun.

Atlantis Submarine will host the a
Ocean Literacy Submarine Tour. Working with CCMI, Atlantis will deliver a
commentary on ocean literacy for all those who are interested in the ocean. The
tour is free, but bookings are necessary.

To take part in the Atlantis
Submarine event, email oceanliteracy@reefresearch.org to book seats. There is a
minimum entry age of 4 years old.

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