About 50 seventh graders from Westminster’s Warner Middle School spent part of a day recently at The Balboa Fun Zone being groomed to become future environmentalists.
The Orange County Register chronicled this week how the students took water samples from the nearby Back Bay to store fronts that have been converted into Ocean Quest educational and museum space, run by the Santa Ana-based Discovery Cube science nonprofit.
There, they tested the water for contaminants and forwarded the results to the Surfrider Foundation as part of the environmental group’s water-quality monitoring, according to the Register.
The Discovery Cube is the latest owner hoping to pump fresh life into the Fun Zone, which has fallen into disrepair over the years amid multiple changes in ownership.
Educators say the area can serve as a great place for students to study ocean ecology, and the impacts of humans on water environments.
“Especially at this middle-school age, it empowers them to be involved and engaged,” science teacher Travis Garwick, who is bringing his classes on the Ocean Quest field trip for the second consecutive year, told the Register. “They are participating in a real-world application. Nobody ever does that for a 12-year old. Mostly what they hear is, ‘Stop skateboarding.’ ‘Stop doing this.’ ‘Stop doing that.’”
While at the Fun Zone, students participated in other educational activities, including looking for tags on the 10 sea lions on the buoy at the entrance to Newport Bay, so they could forward to the Marine Mammal Care Center sightings of animals that had been through the facility.
Here are other items making news from across the region for the week ending Nov. 2.
- Thanks to a partnership with the organization Code to the Future, Heritage Elementary School in Garden Grove Unified is now the Heritage Elementary Computer Science Immersion Academy, integrating coding, robotics and other high-tech skills into everyday instruction.
- The fourth annual OC Pathways Showcase will feature student-led exhibits and presentations by two Edwards Lifesciences executives on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
- To kick-off their kindness campaign, students, parents and faculty members from Roosevelt High School in the Corona-Norco Unified School District painted uplifting images and quotes on their school’s bathroom stalls.
- Families of color, which make up close to 70 percent of California’s school population, say they are likely to offer feedback to their child’s school, or are comfortable pushing for schools to make changes, but far fewer expect their efforts to make a difference, according to a recent survey.
- Schools in California’s wealthier communities have been reaping far more local bond money than poorer districts, a CALmatters analysis shows—a reality that amplifies existing inequities for the state’s public school students.
- Orange Unified School District is back to square one on its plan to sell the site of one of the first schools in California to desegregate, Killefer School.
- In order to help young preschoolers who are learning to speak in more than one language, one California school district is focusing on finding new ways to involve parents in classrooms.
- The PTA at Thurston Middle School in Laguna Beach will hold its 10th annual Sports Swap at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, in the school gym. The event provides families an opportunity to clean out their garages, make a little money, outfit their growing children with fresh sports gear, and benefit Thurston’s PTA.
- Disneyland Resort and the Orange County Department of Education have launched a program to bring hands-on science lessons to Anaheim elementary schools led by Traveling Scientists from OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors program.
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