The Coral Reef Ed-Ventures was in San Pedro for its 15th terrific year of coral reef programs. Smith College/Hol Chan Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is an educational summer program that teaches children about reef ecology and conservation.
This year’s team of student teachers from Smith College consisted of: Kayla Clark, Kiara Gomez, Riley Gage, Clara Rosebrock, Victoria Dunch and Elena Karlsen-Ayala. The Smith student teachers and school children, aged 7 to 11, participated in a two-week, inquiry-based program to learn about coral reefs. There was also a one-week program for youth aged 12 and older, during which the students produced a final project to share with their community.
During the second week the students went on a glass bottom boat trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve to see the corals, sea grass and animals that they had learned about. Students also enjoyed a presentation from the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) on crocodile habitats and also had a presentation on conservation done by Judy Waight, Education Outreach Officer, Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage.
Coral Reef Ed-Ventures student teachers strive to educate the community and heighten awareness about the important economic, ecological, and aesthetic benefits that coral reefs provide to Belize. They use a wide variety of strategies, techniques, and materials to teach children concepts about reef ecology, including field trips, crafts, skits, games, and other hands-on activities.
On Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 126 island children (largest graduating class) became Coral Reef Experts in a fun graduation ceremony at the Lions Den. Children participated in different skits and songs which they had learnt during the camp. After singing their coral reef camp song the children were presented with their Coral Reef Expert Cards.
Congratulations to all proud graduates and thanks to all the teachers for hosting a fun and educational summer camp; see you next year!