Mission Statementgroup with sign (1024x685)

Nurture the talents, identities, and skills of high school students from under-represented communities in Carteret County through training in filmmaking, marine science and conservation.

The Project

Ocean Filmmaking Camp @ DUML is a community program for high school students from under-represented communities in Carteret County. Through training in media and science we nurture the career aspirations of our students and we further their connection with their community. The 6-week camp was run for the first time this past summer (June-July) with a budget of $1,500 provided by Dr. Cindy Van Dover, Director of the Duke Marine Lab. More than 20 speakers from 8 local institutions volunteered to work with us. Maria de Oca (Duke PhD student) and Sarah Noll (local high school teacher) directed the program. The students paid for the classes through their work – the films that they made are commercials that two local institutions will use to promote their services. It was a successful summer – the camp was very well received by the community, and it featured in the local newspaper and the Dukeenvironment Magazine.

Our Story

OFC@DUML is the result of the collaboration of Sarah Noll and Maria de Oca. Sarah leads the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at West Carteret High School and throughout the years she has assembled a dynamic team of volunteers who work together to unlock the great potential of her ESL students. In the fall of 2013 Maria responded to Sarah’s request for volunteers to tutor a group of Spanish-speaking juniors who were taking Biology, and quickly developed a great rapport with the students.

In the spring, Maria and Sarah were talking about the unique challenges that these students face, and Sarah pointed out the problem of “summer slide,” which disproportionately affects economically disadvantaged children – including English Language Learners – in the school system. Many end up “staying at home” for the summer where they are not hearing or speaking English, and lack the opportunities that their more privileged peers have to travel, participate in camps/programs/internships… Due to lack of transportation, they may not even have the chance to spend time hanging out and having fun with their schoolmates. From this conversation, the idea of the Ocean Filmmaking Camp @ DUML started to germinate in Maria’s mind – the idea to offer a camp to a small group of local high school students combining her two passions of filmmaking and oceanography.

Our Vision

The first year’s application process was very hard for us – we only had 6 spots to fill and an overwhelming number of excellent applicants. We are looking forward to next summer, when we hope to expand the program to include more students and more speakers.

In the news

Check out our summer adventure in the Carteret News-Times of August 1 and the fall Dukenvironment Magazine!