Today we presented our camp during the poster session “Integrating Ocean and Climate Science across the Pipeline: K-Graduate Level and Informal Education Initiatives” at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans. It was a wonderful opportunity to share our story and learn from other great educational programs that are happening around the world. In case you would like to read our abstract we are copying it here, and please click on the picture to read our poster or click here to download a PDF!
Ocean Filmmaking Camp @ Duke Marine Lab:
Building Community with Ocean Science for a Better World
A democratic society requires that its citizens are informed of everyday’s global issues. Out of all issues those related to ocean conservation can be hard to grasp for the general public and especially so for disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups. Opportunity-scarce communities generally have more limited access to the ocean and to science literacy programs. The Ocean Filmmaking Camp @ Duke Marine Lab (OFC@DUML) is an effort to address this gap at the level of high school students in a small coastal town. We designed a six-week summer program to nurture the talents of high school students from under-represented communities in North Carolina with training in filmmaking, marine science and conservation. Our science curriculum is especially designed to present the science in a locally and globally-relevant context. Class discussions, field trips and site visits develop the students’ cognitive abilities while they learn the value of the natural environment they live in. Through filmmaking students develop their voice and their media literacy, while connecting with their local community, crossing class and racial barriers. By the end of the summer this program succeeds in encouraging students to engage in the democratic process on ocean conservation, climate change and other everyday affairs affecting their local communities. This presentation will cover the guiding principles followed in the design of the program, and how this high impact-low cost program is implemented. In its first year the program was co-directed by a graduate student and a local high school teacher, who managed more than 20 volunteers with a total budget of $1,500. The program’s success was featured in the local newspaper and Duke University’s Environment Magazine. This program is an example of how ocean science can play a part in building a better world, knitting diverse communities into the fabric of the larger society with engaged and science-literate citizens living rewarding lives.