In San Diego, educating local youth about the marine environment and encouraging them to take an active role in protecting it is of utmost importance (considering the ocean is in their backyard). Without fundamental knowledge of how marine organisms, their habitats and water quality are interconnected, children may not recognize the need for protecting and preserving these local resources.
The Ocean In Motion: Marine Science Education Program (OIM) seeks to inspire San Diego youth of all socioeconomic levels to become environmental stewards through fun, hands-on activities and a science-based curriculum. With qualified educators, experienced in the study of marine science, The San Diego Oceans Foundation is able to provide interactive workshops and field trips that are full of exciting activities to keep children of all ages amazed and intrigued. By engaging kids and educating them about our local marine ecosystems, we hope to encourage a curiosity about the waters that surround us while giving them the tools necessary to make educated decisions about how to protect delicate marine life in the future.
Ocean In Motion In the Classroom
During the school year, SDOF visits participating classrooms and afterschool programs throughout San Diego County to provide interactive, marine science lessons for grades K thru 12. In order to better suit individual classroom curricula and student interests, we have cultivated three different ocean-related topics for groups to choose from. Each unit offers a general overview of the topic at hand, focuses on marine organisms native to San Diego and addresses environmental issues that pertain to us all. The goal of Ocean In Motion in the Classroom is for students to leave with a better understanding of our vital marine ecosystems, a greater appreciation for all of the oceans’ inhabitants and the enthusiasm necessary to conserve these precious resources.
Each of the four, 90-minute presentations given to classes is informative, interactive and developed to stimulate scientific interest with regards to our local waters. A topic-related field trip opportunity on the fifth and final week is used to reinforce classroom sessions and put the students’ newfound knowledge to the test.
During the warm, summer months, SDOF provides local youth an opportunity to learn about their underwater world through educational snorkeling trips.
A typical snorkeling trip starts out with an informal introduction to the life commonly found while in the water. In order to prepare participants for snorkeling activities, they are briefed on the different types of animals they are likely to encounter, provided images to help identify various organisms, told where to find such creatures and let in on some cool adaptations these animals have to help them survive in the big blue. Fun facts and entertaining stories get the kids pumped up and ready to dive in! ‘Campers’ are taught basic snorkeling techniques, fitted for gear and are able to practice snorkeling in a shallow water environment. As soon as everyone is comfortable, we snorkel a short distance across a rocky reef area that is TEEMING with life. Here, students can observe all of the fish, invertebrates and algae we talked about first-hand.
Our marine biologist instructors lead participants in small groups, focusing on organism identification as well as efforts to be taken in order to minimize human impacts on the local marine environment. We round out our trip by brainstorming ways to help protect these fascinating habitats in our everyday lives.
Since 2002, the San Diego Oceans Foundation has been extremely successful in taking children of all abilities on our snorkeling excursions. All participants wear thick (usually 7mm) wetsuits, which provide a maximum amount of warmth as well as buoyancy. To ensure safety, we keep our student to staff ratio very low (no more than 3:1 for snorkeling).
Becoming an Ocean In Motion volunteer is fun, rewarding and an awesome way to connect with today’s youth! A typical Ocean In Motion snorkeling trip lasts about 3 ½ hours. Groups consist of 10-20 youth (usually between 4th and 12th grade) – some whom may not know how to swim and have never been to the ocean!
No formal educational training is required, though volunteers must be strong swimmers, experienced snorkelers and be able to work well with kids. Volunteers are responsible for assisting in sizing, distributing, fitting and rinsing snorkeling gear. They help supervise kids while in the water and, if comfortable, may help identify marine organisms.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own snorkeling gear (although SDOF can provide wetsuit, snorkel, mask and fins, if needed).
|The Port of San Diego‘s Environmental Education Program’s mission is to promote environmental stewardship and to instill an understanding of the importance of a healthy San Diego Bay and watershed. This program’s goals are to ensure that local children have the opportunity to participate in memorable environmental education experiences and to give adults an understanding of their role in protecting the watershed in which they live.|
|Sempra Energy believes in treating the Earth’s resources with respect. They are committed to protecting and conserving the environment, and the health and safety of their employees, customers and the diverse communities in which the company operates and provides service.|
|There’s no place in the world like SeaWorld San Diego. Where else can you challenge the thrills of Journey To Atlantis® one minute and touch a dolphin the next? Take in numerous attractions, exhibits and shows, including Believe — the visually stunning Shamu® show that will take you on a sensational, breathtaking journey of curiosity and wonder.|
|DelmarTV.com is a key partner for our Ocean in Motion: Marine Science Education program. Their generous support of media coverage has helped SDOF spread it’s mission of ocean sewardship.|
|Outdoor Outreach is committed to providing an opportunity for at-risk and underprivileged youth to gain confidence and self-esteem through participation in outdoor activities. In addition to OIM snorkeling, Outdoor Outreach offers programs like rock climbing, surfing, snowboarding, camping and hiking. Outdoor Outreach contacts and coordinates schools/groups wishing to participate in the program while providing transportation to the program sites.|
|SeaCamp San Diego’s mission is to provide exciting, innovative, hands-on and interactive marine education opportunities to students across the country and around the world. SeaCamp provides the use of their marine wet lab which maintains a living collection of critters commonly seen during snorkeling trips.|
|Birch Aquarium at Scripps The mission of the Birch Aquarium is to provide ocean science education, to interpret Scripps Institution of Oceanography research and promote ocean conservation. Through their creative exhibits, many displays and hands-on activities, the Birch Aquarium allows OIM students to learn about a wide variety of organisms and ecosystems that are not readily available to us while snorkeling.|