As terrestrial beings, most people are challenged to understand the unique processes of the ocean or even fathom being able to take the plunge and dive below the waves. Among the challenges is that urban, rural and geographically land-locked people perceive the ocean to be a distant place beyond their reach. In addition, scientists are often conducting research on relevant topics at remote locations where it is virtually impossible for the majority of the general public to gain a first-hand experience. This reality creates enormous financial, logistical, physical constraints on bringing people into the field where they can directly explore the ocean.
CCMI’s education team has developed a transformational, interactive education programme using Virtual Live Experiences (VLEs) methods to connect students and the public to real-time coral reef activity, in an informal science setting. Scientists use high tech face masks and streaming computer equipment to deliver live lessons from the underwater and lab environment. Innovative technology enables VLEs to reduce barriers to learning by communicating interactive ‘real-life’ experiences in an informal, scalable science setting.
The project is structured to deliver curriculum-relevant lessons which are currently oriented to the Cayman Islands and UK national science curriculum for students in year 5 and year 6 classrooms, and which can be streamed directly anywhere in the world. This groundbreaking work was piloted in local schools initially and has become an international project. In 2021, videos were viewed in 27 countries including the Cayman Islands, United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Jamaica, Ukraine, New Zealand, Ecuador, Suriname, Argentina, Maldives, Norway, Mexico, Netherlands, Malaysia, Italy, Bermuda, Philippines, Slovakia, Ghana, Ireland, Bangladesh, Hungary, South Africa, and Spain!
Do you want your students to be a part of this adventure below the waves? Register for the 2023 season here or send us an email for more information. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and click the “notifications” bell to receive notification and reminders about future Reefs Go Live broadcasts. While broadcasts will still be streamed live on YouTube and Facebook, to interact with our team live during the broadcasts, you MUST register and take part in the episodes HERE.