Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Do it for the children!

Kagman Educational IslandToday was my third day in a row working with school kids. Last Friday I was at Saipan Southern High School for all but one period, yesterday I went down to Laulau with San Vicente Elementary, and this morning I was in Kagman with Hopwood Junior High School.

The teachers wanted to take the kids on an educational field trip, so they contacted me to see if they could arrange a visit to the Kagman Educational Island.

I'm not 100% on all of the details, but the Educational Island is a part of the USDA irrigation project in Kagman. It is usually locked, but can be opened for school sponsored field trips. It has a natural area, a constructed wetland, a system of trails, fruit trees, and some historical artifacts.

It makes for a great field trip location, from elementary up to graduate level work.

Educational IslandEducational IslandEducational IslandBree gave me about five minutes to give my "What we do on the land can affect our marine environment" spiel. Then I let the kids run loose in the jungle.

Educational IslandWith the kids off running around, I, um, mean, learning on their own, Ken and I explored the trails a bit. Here we are having a bit of fun:

I'm so cool.

Ken KramerKen is checking out the bamboo fence. He decided that we need to paint it...Ken, don't we have enough work already?

luzonThat is Sami and this is a luzon. A luzon is a large mortar and pestle (sans pestle) used by the ancient Chamorros to grind stuff up. There are three of them at the Educational Island.

BridgesThere are also some bridges crossing over the channel connecting one constructed wetland to the next. It is the end of the dry season, so there is no rain. If I took this picture in a few months, I'd be standing in two feet of water.

After we visited the Educational Island we went down Tank Beach to finish our lesson and to have a beach cleanup. The USDA funded irrigation project drains into Tank Beach. It is still the dry season, so there was no draining to be seen today.

Tank Beach CleanupTank Beach CleanupThere was, however, plenty of trash. If you ever want to have a cleanup, many hands make light work. Here are some of the kids about half way through our cleanup:

Hopwood Junior High School Students at Tank BeachEven Ken and I got in on the action. Well, I actually didn't pick up any trash; I just helped some of the girls carry their bags.

Ken KramerAngelo Villagomez Tank Beach SaipanBree Reynolds deserves a lot of the credit for putting together this great field trip. Here we are sporting our new Coral Reef Alliance shirts:

Bree Reynolds Angelo Villagomez Tank BeachThanks Coral Reef Alliance! Those blue bags contain 1350 lbs of marine debris.


Whimsy Peddler said...

Hey, I'm a teacher at the Saipan SDA school (5-8 science and English) and I was wondering if it would be possible to take my fifth and sixth grade to the Kagman Educational Island and if so, how? It looks like a great field trip and I'm just dying to get them out of the classroom.

My contact information is:




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