Ocean Awareness Essay Contest

The film, From the Bow Seat (written and directed by alumni parent Linda Cabot), holds an ocean awareness essay contest every year that challenges high school students to think critically and creatively about environmental issues impacting the ocean. The contest invites students to write an original essay based on the film From the Bow Seat, or to explore a timely environmental issue beyond the scope of the film. Awards of $2,500, $1,500 and $500 will be made to the first, second and third place winners, plus 15 Honorable Mention Certificates. In addition, $2,500 will be awarded to the high school science department of the first prize winner.

If you are interested in learning more about the contest or want to submit your essays, visit the contest website here. Good luck!

The Island School Hosts New York Harbor School SCUBA Divers

Last week The Island School hosted 12 SCUBA divers from the New York Harbor School. Accompanying the divers were dive instructors Liv Dillon and Joe Gessert and board member Eli Smith. The divers continue the relationship between the New York Harbor School and The Island School, which includes dive trips such as this one as well as bringing students to enroll in Island School semesters as part of the City Bridge program. Students participated in up to 22 dives (four per day), 10 received their Advanced Open Water Certification, while the other 2 students (who had already completed their Advanced Open Water) worked towards their Divemaster. For more information on the New York Harbor School, check out their website, and for a glimpse of what the students experienced, check out these photos and the video below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEEuC0qM5z4&feature=youtu.be

Gap Year Program Update #2

It's been a busy week down on Eleuthera, and with our Down Island Trip right around the corner, us gappers are excited about all we have experienced and accomplished in the last seven days. SCUBA 

After grinding away for hours on the elearning, we all passed our final assessments and were able to get out on the water for some real SCUBA training. We started with some confined dives at The Saddle where we learned and practiced skills to get our Open Water Diver certification.  After 4 confined dives over the course of the week, and practicing a bunch of skills both under and above the water, we all received our Open Water Diver certifications on Thursday and began advanced work Sunday.

Pig Slaughter

We awoke on Wednesday morning to a beautiful sunrise and headed over to the farm where Joseph had a fire going to make hot water for the pig cleaning. After Caleb shot the pig, it was brought over to the cleaning table, where knives were handed out and people began removing the hair from the pig using the hot water to loosen it up. After the pig was all cleaned up, we hung it up across a wooden beam, and Jai and Joseph began gutting and cleaning it. The whole process was a great way to see where your food comes from. Although the majority of pork we eat in the states isn’t raised as well as this pig was, it was really cool to see the process of turning an animal into food.

Beach Plastic

One of our last activities of the week was on beach plastics with Kristal. We started in the presentation room, watching Kristal’s presentation on her experience researching the Pacific Ocean gyres. We then went out to a beach in Wemyss Bight to do some surveying. The results we got were pretty surprising -- we found a ton of micro plastic pieces in each of the quadrants we surveyed in. The microplastics came from larger pieces of plastic in the ocean breaking up, a current environmental issue that researchers at CEI are hoping to learn more about in order to effect change both locally and globally.

Well, that's a wrap. Until soon,

Will Fox