Teacher Club Blog 2009/10 RSS Feed http://www.ocean-institute.org/2008imagebank/suzannah/teacher/club.html
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Catalina Island Ecology Safari

Thanks to Britney, MaryEllen, and Marissa for a great overnight excursion to Catalina Island. The students had so many great experiences/memories made from hiking to snorkeling to dissecting mackarel and squid! Of course our field trip wouldn't have been possible without our class teacher's (Mrs Lori Pope/5th grade Loma Linda Academy Elementary) efforts! The cost of the excursion was met only with a great deal of fundraising! And again, we were truly fortunate for the instructors and boat crew (The Fury under Captain Rick) who were so patient with everyone!

MBarruga (parent/chaperone)

Community support enriches everyone

Friends of the Ocean Institute continue to bless hundreds of students with the gift of science/understanding the importance of our oceans and us.  For the third year in a row, because of a grant from TARGET for bus transportation, and the generosity of Friends of the Ocean Institute to pay for admission, all five classes of our 2nd grade students were able to enjoy the labs & docents at BIG Al in the Lab on February 17th.  Too many of these inner-city children have never even seen the ocean, much less interacted with marine life; without the benefactors of the Ocean Institute, their lives would lack this vital enrichment. 

THANK YOU to all!

Guy Swentek

2nd grade teacher

Wilson Elementary


Thank you for our "Day with Whales"!

Shayna, what a wonderful day we had with the whales on Saturday. The gray whales finally cooperated just before returnig to base. We enjoyed a sighting with a mother and her calf.

Thank you so much for providing this opportunity to the teachers. Our school has enjoyed Big Al and also the 6th grade camp program offered by the Ocean Institute. What wonderful programs they are!!

I am looking forward to the "pirate day in April" (Or at least that's what I call the tall ship trip.

Thank you so much.

Larry H.

Gauer School/Commonwealth School

Westhoff Elementary
I wanted to let you know that our 4th graders at Westhoff Elementary enjoyed "A Sailor's Life" on board the Pilgrim on Feb. 9,10, and 12. I also wanted to let you know that we appreciated your staff's sensitivity and compassion at the recent passing of one of our students (Mauricio on Sun. Feb. 7). Capt. Karl and his awesome crew at the closing of the program, explained what happens when a sailor dies at sea. It was a perfect sequel for our floral tribute and birthday celebration for Mauricio whose 10th birthday would have been on Feb. 10th. I think this was one of our best visits ever. Thank you for this wonderful program and your great staff.

The 4th grade team at Westhoff Elementary
The Ocean Institute is at the top for local science education programs

Thank you for accommodating us with the use of the Ecology Lab on Monday when it rained.  Students enjoyed sketching the marine life as viewed from the many tanks. The education director was wonderful to work with that rainy day.  I attended her rock classification lesson on the beach with our first group.  Her energetic ways with our children and depth of knowledge about geology was impressive.  The Ocean Institute is at the top for local science education programs.  I will continue to promote your facilities, educators, and programs to my young science enthusiasts.

Thank you,
Erin Bratcher
St. Mary and All Angels

Another wonderful time

We had another wonderful time with Big Al and the docents for our field trip to the Ocean Institute. The studets and teachers all enjoyed the friendly staff and the exciting visit with the star of the show. The students really enjoyed the enthusiasm of the team and the hands-on science. They were thrilled to put their "head in the bubble" and to touch all of the sea critters.

Please send our regards to all of the Ocean Institute staff that assisted Commonwealth have a field trip to remember.

Thank you so much.

Larry Herschler

Commonwealth School

Ocean Institute’s Watershed Program Helps Mission Viejo 5th Graders Earn Top Science Scores

MISSION VIEJO, CA, October 8, 2009 – Students attending Castille Elementary School in Mission Viejo had outstanding results in the 2009 California Standards Test for Science, reported 5th grade teacher Donna Smiggs, thanks in no small part to her students’ participation in the Ocean Institute’s annual watershed program. The 5th grade class was ranked 3rd in the Capistrano Unified School District, and 2nd in terms of achieving an advanced score.


Smiggs commented, “The experience [at the Ocean Institute] was extremely beneficial. It was educational as well as a great deal of fun. Students learned and applied the scientific method and used the scientific thinking processes while learning about the importance of protecting our local watersheds.”


The watershed program introduces students to the science of the watersheds, or land area that drains into a body of water, such as the ocean.


Smiggs also credited the Ocean Institute’s staff for its professionalism and effectiveness in teaching her students. She concluded, “I most definitely am looking forward to the Castille’s 2010 class of 5th graders experiencing this phenomenal program.”


For additional information on the Ocean Institute’s watershed program, please call (949) 496-2274.


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