26.5: Stories: Ocean Ed in the Classroom -Cindy Vasquez (National School District)

I don’t care what age you are, seeing a whale breach in the wild is one of the coolest water encounters you can have. Couple that with giant sea turtles and perhaps a dolphin sighting and you can pretty well sum up the best voyage ever.
Do you like eco-friendly travel? check out our interview with Keteka co-founder Kyle Wiggins for more authentic travel experiences!
While I’m being honest, my whale watching tour was one of many San Diego highlights. The schoolgirl in me who grew up in a landlocked state was a little jealous to learn that most students get to experience this as part of their regular curriculum. That as well as a few other unique opportunities created by proximity to the ocean. Some schools are within walking distance to the beach.
Not all schools are able to afford these types of experiences though.
The National City School District doesn’t normally get to enjoy some of these more creative learning initiatives. 100% of their student population is below the poverty line. Every single student receives free and reduced lunches. Despite being within walking distance of the harbor district and bay, the mysteries of the ocean remained mysteries prior to the relationship with Ocean Connectors.
Now National City has their students walking the scientist talk, talking to scientist talk and even using the same waterproof notebook and special writing pencils that real marine biologists use! Talk about an incredible way to engage kids in the sciences.
In fact, they have students waiting until the following year when they get to start up their migratory marine lessons again. Further proof that this consecutive year school curriculum is creating an impact on students.
For students who don’t normally get to explore the natural habitats in their backyard, Ocean Connectors opens up a world of possibilities. Hopefully with Ocean Connector’s new Eco Tours, they can continue to provide these opportunities for generations to come.