Mondays and Tuesdays are usually my day off, but today I took a special detour from my schedule to help out with an educational program for the Spring Street Middle School. The seventh graders had a "Marine Exploration" day and I and Patrick (the head of the stranding network) worked together to create an interactive activity for the students to participate in.
For those of you who don't know, stranding is when a marine mammal is stuck on the shore and can't get back to water. There are a variety of reasons: sickness, injury, loose nets, and death, to name a few. Because of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, normal people can't touch marine mammals--so that means that even if an animal needs help or a body needs to be removed, it can't happen. Luckily, there was an amendment granted in the '90s that allows for trained people to remove and help marine mammals.
So the activity I created together with Patrick was a stuffed animal stranding. Children were given tape measures and stranding sheets and then a stuffed animal with some cards on top of it. The cards were used to convey information on the animal and gave specific information that was needed by the sheet. Then the kids measured their stuffed animal as if it was a real stranding. I think it was a pretty good hit. The students enjoyed both the stuffed animal and hands on activity where they got to touch the skulls and pelts of animals that had been stranded (the stickers proclaiming them "Junior Responders" were also a big hit).
I think it went very well and so did the teachers at the school and Patrick. I'm glad it happened. As it is now, I'm working at the gift shop until closing today--it'll be the first time I close by myself!
As for the previous week (or lack of posts thereof), nothing of real blog-worthy note happened. It was just me working at the shop and sitting in on lectures by Cindy. Soon I will have learned enough to start giving them on my own, I hope!