Thursday, May 30, 2013

O'Donnell at Sea

Yesterday on a rainy day the O’Donnell 5th grade class went on a 3-hour oceanography tour of the Boston Harbor with their Science teacher, Chris Leonard. They arrived at University of Massachusetts at 10:30am to set sail on the Columbia Point boat. While on the boat they pulled up some interesting things from the harbor – big crabs, jellies, a lobster, and even a skate (the living kind).

There were also six staff members from the Earth and Ocean Sciences Dept. at UMass Boston who taught during the 3 hours at sea. “I was so happy to see the excitement and joy on the faces of the students as they picked up a jelly or stuck their hands into the dark muck that we scooped up from the bottom,” said Mr. Leonard.

I asked Mr. Leonard to tell me why he decided to bring the students to sea and he noted, “It seemed a shame to me that our students live in an area practically surrounded by water but few had ever been out on a boat and most know little about the ocean.  So when I saw that Target was giving field trip grants I knew that was the ticket.  Because they funded over half the cost, we were able today to give our O’Donnell 5th graders a great send-off to 6th grade.  Although we do some good science in class, I think this is what they’ll remember most in their later years.”

Thanks Mr. Leonard for giving BPS students real life learning experiences!

To learn more about the opportunities "at sea" you can contact Chris Sweeney, Marine Operations Director, at UMass Boston: