Sandy Hook’s Beaches, Trails and Marshes Become Outdoor Classrooms
For 28 years, Clean Ocean Action’s Student Summits have reached over 16,000 students in New Jersey, expanding learning beyond the classroom. The Summit program presents students with an interdisciplinary marine and environmental education experience which complements the NJ Student Learning Standards for Science.
This year COA was very excited to partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to bring 4th graders to the Student Summit.which was made possible by the Every Kid in the Park Transportation Grant.
Over 1,000 4th-8th grade students from more than 30 schools throughout NJ joined scientists and volunteer educators at Sandy Hook National Park for COA’s Spring Student Summit on Wednesday, May 18, and Thursday, May 19. Students participated in hands-on roundtable activities, which included live horseshoe crabs, seashell identification, marine debris impacts, invertebrates, a demonstration in nonpoint source pollution and climate change, and interactive fieldtrips, with the beaches, trails and marshes of Sandy Hook as the classroom setting for each day.
Field activities included teaching students to use seine nets to collect and identify common marine species of Sandy Hook Bay, identifying key bird species and the important role Sandy Hook plays in bird migration, testing water quality, and learning fishing techniques. Students also participated in a special beach profiling activity highlighting the importance of dunes in protecting coastal habitat.