Informal Science

Fishing for Needy Families

Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:03 PM

I had a great luncheon yesterday with the winner of NSTA/Seaworld Environmental Educator award. This young man teaches underprivileged youth (including some really hardened gang members) to fish--and environmental education along the way. He's succeeded in Florida, North Carolina and the poorest neighborhood of Nassau, Bahamas.

It's amazing to think that kids who live less than a mile from a beach in these areas have never fished, never learned to swim, almost never see the ocean. After school (or out of school) programs are SO effective here.

Juliana Texley
Juliana Texley
1330 Activity Points

Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:38 AM

I worked in a school with 75% Free and Reduced lunches. These students had very little experiences beyond the neighborhood. We took them fishing every year to a local park with a lake stocked especially for catch and release by kids. They were ecstatic to fish!! It is a great activity for kids.

Betty Paulsell
Betty Paulsell
48505 Activity Points

Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:39 AM

This reminds me of our first charter high school here in Maine. It is on the Goodwill Hinckley Campus here in Maine. Students who have not been able to handle traditional schooling seem to thrive here. They have an active farming program here. In Maine small farms and young farmers is a growing sector for our economy so this is a viable career for many students who choose to learn about farming

The MeANS Program Principles

The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences program introduces young people to careers in farming, forestry, sustainability, alternative energy and other related fields. Students gain knowledge and skills through hands-on projects, internships, targeted curruicula, and real-world experiences such as growing organic food on campus for the cafeteria and residences. In addition, students consult with local produce vendors to learn sales and marketing skills, study sustainable forestry practices and explore environmental issues, energy needs and primary concerns that face local and statewide businesses in Maine. Moreover, students make connections with healthy adult role models who guide them toward further education and meaningful work.

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
41865 Activity Points

Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:38 PM

As a former classroom teacher that lives 75 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, I constantly encountered the same issue with my students. In many rural and under represented areas, all too often students are never exposed to informal learning outside their communities because of economic disadvantages. Unfortunately many of these students lack the ability to make real world connections. Informal education combined with formal education can be extremely rewarding and a great learning opportunity for students that will allow them to build upon their knowledge. Kudos to all that assist with afterschool programs!

Carmen Cruz
Carmen Cruz
2125 Activity Points

Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:22 PM

It is not just the disadvantaged students that are being "short-changed" in being exposed to informal, outdoor experiences. This is a national trend. The inner city students often do not venture much past their small area of familiarity. Students living in the suburbs are more exposed to "activities" such as baseball and basketball (rather than nature experiences), and students living in rural areas do not feel the need to explore the outside world around them, being satisfied with just living outside urbanized areas, thinking they know all they need to know about nature. I feel programs all over the country are starting to spring up to help address this need. My city is now offering a county-wide "Family Activity Weekend". Volunteers from all over set-up informal science activities such as; catch and release fishing lessons, bug identification, nature walks, astronomy, and dozens more. Every year it is getting bigger and bigger. This is just a small step, but I applaud the educators and volunteers that are implementing these activities!

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia
42660 Activity Points

Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:06 AM

Wow! Reading what this man has done for the youth in these underprivileged areas is truly amazing. The quote "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" came to my mind when I was reading this. This educator changed the lives of these kids. Being a swimmer and a lifeguard, learning how to swim is an important life skill everyone should know. Another after school activity could be swim lessons. This would keep kids out of trouble after school and they may really enjoy the activity. After school swim lessons could be taught at the county high school's pool or even a local YMCA.

Carly Deeter
Carly Deeter
1620 Activity Points

Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:26 PM

The quote "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime" -   I just thinking about that). Last weekend I went to fishing with my boyfriend first time for the about last 10 years. I didn't catch single fish, but  I really enjoyed just to spend time like that. Its not a work, its  for soul.

Emily Puttock
Emily Puttock
125 Activity Points

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