Our early educational initiatives have been developed alongside our blue whale project program since this is such a unique and exciting opportunity for our community. With the help of our amazing naturalists and preliminary funding from the State Coastal Conservancy and the California Coastal Commission, we have been working with science and art teachers to bring the wide array of learning opportunities related to these massive bones to public and private schools in the region. We’re delivering curriculum-complementary lesson plans around form and function, behaviour, ecology, evolution and topics of ocean conservation, using the massive bones and baleen of our 73-foot blue whale skeleton to captivate and engage students in experiential learning.
Elements of our school-based initiative:
- Grade specific “class units”: Two1-2 hour in-class presentations, 1⁄2 day at “field station”, plus art program.
- Annual Marine Science and Art Fair: To be held during Whale Festival each spring, this fair will showcase what the kids have learned over the past school year. See slideshow below with students from our first annual Science and Art Fair!
- “Bones in a Box”: We will mold and cast the bones of one of our blue whale flippers, which will be used in conjunction with the bones from other marine mammals to teach about anatomy and function.
- High School and Community College Internships: This program is targeted to kids that show a high subject aptitude and would like to work more closely with the skeleton. These students will dive much deeper into the restoration process and get more hands-on experience.
We plan to continue bringing our blue whale into the schools and the community as we problem-solve through the project of cleaning, restoring and articulating this massive skeleton. Students will have the opportunity to explore their connection to the oceans through our blue whale.