I am asking this question for all of you to give a detailed summary of what your MARE programs look like as of the first day of December. We have all discussed our ideas at our October meeting and I’d just like everyone to chime in on how the MARE program is going in your individual scenarios. At our October meeting we learned that MARE has taken on very diverse formats across the state of NJ. I feel that there are no “wrong ways” to incorporate the MARE topics into our schools. I would however like to show the MARE and Ocean Science community just how diverse our program has become. I know that in many of your schools, due to budgetary considerations, the MARE program has taken the form of an informal club. But let’s reflect and be specific about what that looks like because I know that there are some great things going on! So, if all of you would please give us a synopsis of what the MARE program looks like in your school, I’m sure that we could all benefit from the discussion!
Our MARE program has hit some bumps during the first few months of school. However, we have a great leadership team that is comprised of teachers from multiple subject areas. Some of you might recall from our October meeting that due to all of the cuts, some classroom space has become available for us to build an Ocean Science/MARE classroom. As the year has progressed our Ocean Science/MARE classroom has evolved to become a wonderful space that is accessible for any teacher in our school via a sign-out sheet. The schedule is posted in a public place so that all are aware of what the schedule looks like. We have set up nine tanks with different species of marine animals varying from Stone Crabs to Goldfish. We have even had some students interested in starting two different guppy tanks–1 for Fancy Guppies and 1 for Sunrise Guppies. Once those 10gal tanks are started they then want to start a 3rd tank to cross-breed the two different fishes. They are so excited to observe what happens. I can’t believe that we are introducing basic genetics to our 5th and 6th graders…I’d better brush up. Another thing that has been happening is that the students have been responsible for maintaining the species and their respective tanks. We actually needed to do this because there just isn’t enough time for the adults to maintain all of those tanks. It also has given the students a sense of ownership for the room. We have had some issues with this also, but mostly the kids are becoming more responsible as the year continues.
Technologically, our room doubles as a guest presenter room with a projector, sound system and some other presentation tools. We deliberately did this so that any type of guest presentation will also expose the public to our MARE room. I’ll get some pics of the space and post them somewhere.
We had another MARE leadership meeting this morning and there is a very strong desire for MARE kits to become available to our teachers. So we are in the process of making them portable so that the experiments and activities can be done either in the MARE room or in the teacher’s own classroom.
We have been meeting primarily before school and during lunch periods because of the lack of time in our schedules. But overall, I think that our MARE program is shaping up!
Hi All – I really am interested in what you have to say on Mike’s question. I am faced with writing the new MARE grant to fund next year due March 1, 2011. What do we need to say to the Foundation on what we need/what to help us in these tough times bring the ocean to the classroom?
MARE is an creative educational program which engages students to reflect on the creatures of the sea with a broad detailed progression of their habitat and how it is best thrives.
Weather, climate, environmental health and pertinent data which students can have a personal interest in keeps this program expanding while using all learning styles. The researched concepts come to life for students in art form which enhances the long term awareness of keeping our oceans healthy, particularly if they are seafood lovers. and Grasping the sustainability theme for the future generations to enjoy the food using healthy choices for all ecosystems is the outcome to observe as the students dialog during the lessons. Introducing this practical Coastal and Marine Science program to science teachers in the schools is key for producing educated students who embrace these resources and hopefully will be advocate being good stewards of our ocean and planet.
corrections noticed from my prior comment:
1) delete “and” before Grasping the sustainability theme…
2) educated students embrace these resources and hopefully will advocate being good stewards of our ocean (as one) and our planet.
Hi everyone! I’m sort of doing two MARE groups: my fourth grade class and an after school club. We did get funding for the after school club, but I’m waiting for board approval before I start it (which hopefully will be soon!). My fourth graders are interested in sharks, so we sent some of our questions about them to Andy Cassagrande. Andy is a National Geographic cinematographer that filmed great white sharks for their Migrations series. He did a live web assembly on the JASON site (http://www.jason.org/public/gmreplay.aspx) and answered student questions. Today, we’re moving through some shark centers based on the Shark Encounter stations from our MARE binder. I look forward to getting our kits!
Hi! I have been working with my fourth grade classes researching how the topic of “sustainable seafood” is related to endangered animals. The technology teacher, the media specialist/librarian and I have been collaborating and are excited because this project fits in so nicely across the curriculum. The students have been researching how overfishing has endangered animals. The sites that MARE has recommended have been excellent. We have used the Monteray Bay Aquarium site extensively. They will then create a power point about their animal and the effects of overfishing. I will also be working with the “Green Team” during lunch/recess as a MARE club. I have been using many of the ideas from MARE participants in class, such as Joanne’s centers, which the students love. During our October meeting at Rutgers, I mentioned that our school will probably not be able to attend Ocean Day in April. Our district is not allowing any classes on field trips due to budget cuts. I’m hoping that my students will be able to present their projects perhaps at Rutger’s Community Day, since it is a Saturday in April. Parents will have to bring their children on their own. I was looking for any other ideas and feedback. Thanks so much to the MARE educators and participants. My students are I are really so excited about science this year! Happy New Year!
The students under my guidance who are attending the Rutgers Ocean Day have been presented with this opportunity through an afterschool Marine Science/Art program where I’ve used the MARE resources for the teaching componant. Our local County Library is connected with the Humanities Grants and have been graciously hosting this 4H program since September, 2010. Parents of these motivated students who are working on presenting projects, will be chaperoning to the April 12 Rutgers Ocean Day. Having Parents involved can be the solution for the budget cuts in transportation for special programing.