Unique, Hands-on Environmental Programs for Kids Grades 5-11
Pleasant Bay Community Boating (PBCB) will offer “Summer Marine Science,” a set of environmental programs providing rare opportunities to learn about the Pleasant Bay ecosystem (native flora and fauna, water quality, land and sea birds) directly from area scientists, while exploring the waters of the Bay, the largest estuary on Cape Cod.
“Summer Marine Science” is for kids grades 5-11, beginning July 9 and running through August 17. Each program day starts and ends at PBCB’s waterfront campus. Scholarships are available. (See www.pbcb.cc “Community Outreach” for details.)
Programs are taught by professional scientists who are experienced at engaging young minds. Created by the teachers themselves and specific to Pleasant Bay, the courses are unique and focused. Kids will learn how to use science field tools and will come away with state-of-the-art information, and a new understanding of why endangered ecosystems like the Bay must be preserved.
The Art and Joy of Fly-Fishing, for students entering grade 5 or above, and family. Two one-week programs, July 9-13 (beginners) or July 16-20 (intermediate). Students may take one week or both. Cost: $400 per week. Motorboat or drive to varied locations around Pleasant Bay. Learn how to tie flies, the art of the cast, the thrill of the catch. The class also focuses on the Bay’s ecosystem and local fisheries. Taught by Eric McDuffie, award-winning environmental science teacher. Limit 6 students. Drop off at 3:30 p.m., pick up at 8:00 p.m., PBCB. All equipment provided.
The Study and Identification of Birds on Land and Water. July 11 and 12, for students entering grades 6-9; July 18 and 19, for families and adults. Cost: $110 for 2 days. This class is the ultimate in bird study and field natural history, led and taught by Peter Trull, a leading field naturalist and ornithologist. During July and August, the open waters of the Bay, and its adjacent salt marshes and outer beaches are teaming with birds, many dramatically plunge-diving for fish, in preparation for their southern migration. Observe behaviors and calls, as well as identify birds such as the rare piping plover and the raucous willet. Limit 6 students. Drop off at 8:00 a.m., pick up at 1:00 p.m., PBCB.
Fins, Whiskers and Claws: The Lives and Haunts of Marine Animals in Pleasant Bay. Two one-week programs: July 23-27, for students entering grades 5-8; July 30-August 3 for students entering grades 8-11. Cost: $400 per week. Researchers and educators from the Center for Coastal Studies and PBCB will share their latest research findings about the Bay, a unique natural resource protected from the forces of the Atlantic by an ever-shifting barrier beach and dune system. Includes time on the water and at PBCB. Taught by Lisa Sette, Owen Nichols, Dr. Agnes Mittermayr, Theresa Smith, and Dr. Sarah Griscom. Limit 12 students. Drop off at 10:00 a.m., pick up at 4:00 p.m., PBCB.
Wild World of Wind, Waves and Water, for students entering grades 5-9, August 13-17. Cost: $400. With science teachers from PBCB, learn about healthy waterways; how to measure Pleasant Bay water quality and chemistry; how Cape Cod’s groundwater “floats” atop salt water; how wind turbine blades are designed; and how water waves and electromagnetic waves are related to Chatham’s unique history. Includes two fun afternoons of sailing and motorboat trips each day. Taught by Megan Sullivan and Dr. Sarah Griscom. Limit 12 students. Drop off at 10:00 a.m., pick up at 4:00 p.m. PBCB.
The “Summer Marine Science” collaborative was sparked by Friends of Pleasant Bay (FOPB), who had underwritten a three-year ecosystem survey of Pleasant Bay by the Center for Coastal Studies. An objective of the survey is to share this trove of new information through public educational venues. FOPB and the Kelly Foundation and Cape Cod Five Foundation are also providing funds for this year’s program.
This summer, the Center for Coastal Studies will provide most of the scientist/teachers while PBCB is offering the actual teaching venue — its waterfront campus and its fleet of boats. PBCB is delighted to host once again its frequent environmental and educational partners in advancing its mission to make boating, marine education and environmental stewardship affordable and accessible to all.
“Summer Marine Science” is open to Cape residents and summer visitors alike. To find more information, go to www.pbcb.cc Students should pack a brown bag lunch. Classes will be held rain or shine.