Thank you so much for the educational grant provided by Captain Rollo’s Kids at Sea which allowed our 5th through 8th grade Biology classes the opportunity to encounter marine life as a practical, tangible, and enjoyable experience. We saw grey-back whales, dolphins, and caught several species of fish including mackerel and rockfish. Every student on board put squid on a hook and reeled up a rockfish. The comment I heard the most from parent-chaperones was, “This is what school should be like.” The scope of education gained during the actual event was beyond our expectations. In preparation, we looked at many facets of marine biology, but a few specific learning activities that covered fish anatomy, fish behavior, and the sustainability of deep-sea fishing were especially helpful. despite all we learned in the class, nothing could compare to the experience of being out on the water. Several parents said it was an incredible, “out-of-the-box,” learning experience for their students, and many more asked if they could do this again next year. Watching young people respond to the open waters, bait their hooks, and reel in a fish with their own two hands was more memorable and satisfying than any classroom lesson. It felt more important, and it makes sense. Most science lessons place the humans on the outside as the observer, gathering data for posterity. But fishing places humans in the center—requiring us to interact with marine biology and apply our scientific knowledge.

Wesley M. Warner, Dehesa Charter School, Educational Facilitator, Instructor of Science, English, and Robotics