Marine Ecology Course - September / October 2015
CCMI’s goal of having every child of the Cayman Islands “ocean literate” by age twelve is coming to life here at the Little Cayman Research Station. Thanks to a few extremely generous donations, three schools from Grand Cayman were selected to participate in our three-day Marine Ecology Course. Our program works in tandem with the Caymanian curriculum to reinforce knowledge acquired in the classroom with field experience and lecture. From educational games to first-hand fish identification, we aim to ignite a spark within students a sense of wonder and curiosity for the ocean that they may carry with them throughout their academic and professional careers.
|Students learn about the importance of sea grass beds through friendly competition.||Education Program Manager Tom Sparke teaches the students about Staghorn Coral.|
|Donning snorkels, masks, fins and life-vests, students swim the backreef!||Another day of learning as students stand over one of our salt ponds, Tarpon Lake.|
|Students get excited about cleaning up on of Little Cayman's best beaches, Point of Sands.||After a long and tiring day, some of the boys collect seashells and enjoy a relaxing game of Mancala.|
But not all lessons for the course are had in the water here at CCMI. Little Cayman holds a unique cultural history amidst the Caribbean. Honoring Little Cayman's heritage, we use this opportunity to take guests of Little Cayman around to some of the sites dedicated to that history and ecology.
|Students listen to a talk about Little Cayman's Red-Footed Booby Bird and the Magnificent Frigate Bird.||Tom encourages our students to lookout for birds over the Booby Pond at the National Trust.|
|A group picture of East End Primary School at the Little Cayman Museum.||The Little Cayman Museum displays some of the more antiquated techniques of diving.|
Participants in our MEC program can even take advantage of some local phenomenon here on the island.
|Baby sea turtles were found left behind in a nest nearby.||Students were given the chance to hold a baby turtle before setting out to help with their release!|
Check out this video of East End Primary gathering around for sea turtles' release!
A special thank you to all of the students and teachers who are making this course such a remarkable experience. We can't wait to see what your bright futures hold!