Raising Awareness about Rising Sea Level

BY Kimberly Gainey 

Cape Cod Collaborative (Bourne) School

Project Description

I teach science to all of the 10th, 11th and 12th graders at the Cape Cod Collaborative Waypoint Academy School, located at the Wing School in Sandwich. This year I am teaching Coastal Studies and the goal of this class is to have students gain a deeper understanding of climate change and how it effects us now and in the future. The objective is to have them use scientific tools and processes that will allow them to see first hand the effects of climate on the local level. The tools that the grant would purchase are for utilizing in the field at nearby estuaries, such as Town Neck, for water characteristics and quality testing and at Sandy Neck for measuring the changing shoreline. The testing and observations will be done throughout the year and is planned to be carried on in subsequent school years. The Sandy Neck activities will have a public benefit as the survey eco-flags will be labeled and stay in place for the public to view. The Sandy Neck survey is part of the effort by Liz Duff of Mass Audubon to get students involved in the awareness of climate change issues in our local communities.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)

Our students generally have a better learning experience with activity based curriculums. The students will be graded for their performance of the activities as well as their test scores. The curriculum meets the Mass. Science Technology and Engineering Frameworks and we work toward having all of our students succeed. The emphasis on activity based classes and curriculum over the past two years has resulted in the MCAS science test passing rate improving significantly. This Coastal Studies curriculum is expected to continue that trend and will be part of the measure of success.

Benefit to the students and the school

The Cape Cod Collaborative student body is comprised of individuals who have experienced social/emotional challenges and their community schools have not been able meet their needs. We follow a therapeutic school model and have a high teacher to student ratio as well as counselors and other specialists. We are able to do offsite curriculum activities which allows students to perform within the greater community, to learn and practice important social skills and see how they might become contributing members of the community and stewards of the environment.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)

The Coastal Studies classes have commenced and the tools will be utilized once purchased. It is expected that the tools will be in use in subsequent school years.