HGLC Teams Up with R.S.U. 13 for a Unique Educational Experience
Thanks to funding from the George's River Education Foundation Herring Gut and students from Cushing Community School, Lura Libby School, and Thomaston Grammar School teamed up for a brand new experiential learning program in which fourth grade and middle school students were provided with instruction about water and marine life and given the tools and knowledge to teach kindergarten through third grade students about these exciting marine topics.
A total of 248 students participated in the program with met goals of teaching students from Cushing and Lura Libby as well as Vista middle school students from Thomaston about such topics as tide pools, inter-tidal zones, marine life and algae, and the properties of water. Through a series of 12 visits during April and May to Herring Gut Learning Center and surrounding sites in Port Clyde, the fourth grade and middle school students from Lura Libby and TGS gained this knowledge through instruction by educators at Herring Gut as well as an array of educational activities. During visits to Herring Gut, students were split into four groups and rotated through stations, which included bivalves, univalves, crabs, and algae.
These visits were followed by a series of instruction days in June at Herring Gut and Drift-In Beach in which fourth grade and middle school students then had the opportunity to teach kindergarten through third grade classes from Cushing and Lura Libby. The students used games, activities, scavenger hunts, and short presentations to introduce younger students to marine biology. At Drift-In Beach, the younger students were split into four groups and also rotated through stations, which included algae, inter-tidal, organisms, and the water cycle. Herring Gut marine science teacher Ann Boover noted, "The instruction days went really well. We were able to stand back and let the fourth graders teach."
Herring Gut and RSU 13 thank the Georges River Education Foundation and hope to continue this program in the future so that additional groups of students have this unique learning experience to introduce them to marine ecology and give them the opportunity to act as peer educators.