Students Virtually Explore Rookery Bay

Students Virtually Explore Rookery Bay

To better serve their community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida’s Rookery Bay Reserve is taking student and family programming online every day in April and May.

Students “staying at home” can continue to learn about the 110,000 acres of land and water that Rookery Bay protects, as well as the wildlife that live there. Each week of has a theme—from shark research to water monitoring to coastal resilience—and comes with videos, tours, downloadable activities and quizzes, which are all available on the Rookery Bay Reserve website.

In 2019 more than 12,000 community members visited the Reserve’s Environmental Learning Center, and 1,400 students participated in their programs. By taking that engagement online, the Rookery Bay Reserve is connecting people with their estuary while keeping the community safe.

Local Research Becomes Online Learning

Local Research Becomes Online Learning

What better place to start with science education than your own backyard? In 2019, that question inspired Wisconsin’s Lake Superior Reserve and their local school district to partner to develop interactive online lessons about local research projects in the St. Louis River estuary.

Every 5th grade class in the Superior school district now has access to these lessons, which cover topics like algal blooms, coastal flooding, and wild rice restoration. The lessons align closely with state science standards and are delivered in a format similar to the rest of the district’s science curriculum.

They didn’t have a global pandemic in mind, but the Reserve and their partners have made it possible for the region’s children to continue to build science literacy and connect with their Great Lake.

Virtual Lab Tours at ACE Basin

Virtual Lab Tours at ACE Basin

Through virtual programming, marine scientists at South Carolina’s ACE Basin Reserve reach students who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the estuary.

Inspiring future STEM students with fish science? Nothing fishy about that! 

South Carolina’s ACE Basin Reserve is making sure all kinds of students—regardless of their access to the outdoors—get a firsthand look at marine science with virtual laboratory tours. They get to observe a fish dissection, learn how different scientific tools are used, and ask a marine biologist questions about their field. They even get a peek behind the scenes of the South Carolina Reef Fish Survey, a fish monitoring program whose data supports the state’s $21.5 million fisheries. 

The virtual tours program was designed to reach students and classrooms who lack access to laboratory experiences. It promotes coastal science to students who are traditionally underrepresented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and may have little knowledge of career opportunities in marine or environmental science.

Get InvolvedEarth DayStudents