Sailors For the Sea Creates Environmental Lesson Plans For Young Sailors

Reader Contribution by Lindsey Siegele
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Young sailors should be more than just captains of the high seas — they should be ecologically aware as well. That’s the message behind Sailors for the Sea‘s new Rainy Day Kits. The kits — packaged into fun activities like a tag-inspired game that helps young sailors learn about pollution — are free, downloadable environmental lesson plans with a focus on environmentalism and marine ecology.

“Thanks to the tremendous support from our science and education partners, Sailors for the Sea is proud to offer free, informal environmental education lesson plans for community sailing centers, yacht clubs and waterfront facilities,” says Dan Pingaro, CEO of Sailors for the Sea, in a press release for the new program. “These 30 to 45 minute modules are science based and designed for junior sailors and children around the country.”

Sailors for the Sea is a nonprofit organization that works to inform the boating community about the importance of protecting our oceans, and Rainy Day Kits is the first program of its kind. Its lessons were created with the help of marine biology experts, such as those at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the New England Aquarium. The first six lesson plans were introduced on the program’s website in January 2011, and new plans will be posted periodically.

Sailing instructors need not feel overwhelmed by the prospect of science-based lessons. The kits are designed to be used by anybody, regardless of educational background and expertise.

Intended to incite a passion for the world beneath the water’s surface, the Rainy Day Kits are fun and interactive while serving an important purpose: marine ecosystem preservation and protection.

The first six lessons are exciting and informative. Here’s some basic information about what you’ll find when you download the lesson plans:

  1. The Bio-Magnification Game: Young sailors will learn about the dangers of plastics in our ocean waters and how pollutants might end up in their food in this game that resembles tag.
  2. Clam Jigsaw: Many of us have seen clams before, but how much do we really know about their inner workings? Students learn more about these fascinating marine creatures in this activity.
  3. Density Currents: Using basic equipment, students learn about how ocean currents work, and why differing ocean temperatures serve an important purpose in nutrient circulation.
  4. Dirty Water Challenge: What’s the best way to get dirty water clean? Young sailors will experiment with different materials in order to create their own water filters.
  5. Oyster Tag: “Sad oysters” are the result of too much toxic waste in our oceans. This game, which is similar to freeze tag, helps students understand how important clean water is for keeping oysters alive, happy and toxin-free.
  6. Who Dirtied the Water?: Students role-play to demonstrate how human actions have “dirtied” coastal waters.

Lindsey Siegele is the Senior Web Editor at Ogden Publications, the parent company of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find her on .

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