Hello Island School Blog Readers! Here at the Island School we are given the opportunity to learn through hands on experiences. We often learn about a topic in the classroom and then move outside to see it in person. There is no better way to understand a topic than to physically do it yourself.
One group of students has been working with research teams from the Cape Eleuthera Institute for the past two days. Yesterday one of these small groups was sent out to help collect tanks with the deep sea research team. While we were out we lifted up two traps from below 1200 meters! Seeing the creatures that we had caught come up from the depths was an experience that I will never forget. Once we had brought both of the traps in the boat we came back to the institute to get a much better look at the isopods. Most students dissect frogs or pigs but here we dissect Giant Isopods that live in waters that go below 4 degrees Celsius! These experiences help to connect us to our immediate environment and in this case a part of the environment that people know very little about. We are learning so much about not only our new Bahamian home we can see, but even the mysteries in the deepest depths.
A second group of students spent the day working with electricity. In the morning we were in the classroom learning all about electricity and how it works. We discussed everything from how the Island School gets their electricity to how much electricity costs in countries around the globe. After gaining this better understanding we moved to the Center for Sustainability Development building so that we could take electricity into our own hands. When we arrived we split into two groups and had two different projects. Once we finished one project we switched and took on the next. One project was to wire a light switch to a circuit breaker and the other was to wire an off-grid system that connected a solar panel to a car battery. Our group had some trouble with wiring the light switch but learned a lot in the process. We were successful with our solar panel and it was a great moment when we connected the final wires and saw the two lights start to shine!
After spending some time here at the Island School we are beginning to get a closer look at how things work. After learning about the electricity at the Island School we now understand why we conserve our electricity as well as what happens when we flip our light switches. By going out with the deep sea research team we learned about how research is conducted here at CEI. All of our hands on experiences here allow us to personally become part of our island community and gain a deeper appreciation for all that goes on here.