NextGen Educational Curriculum
Continually evolving through our education presentations, in 2017, with the help of Aspire Public School we updated the 5 Gyres middle and high school curriculum to align with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a framework developed by states to improve education for all students, considered the next generation of STEM/STEAM. This year, we have expanded and added Elementary NGSS aligned curriculum. Much like our mission, both the elementary and middle/high school curriculum aim to help raise awareness and inspire action against plastic pollution. The curriculum is designed to be flexible so while it works as a cohesive unit, you can also draw lessons and activities to support many subjects through the lens of plastic pollution. We're also excited to share that the curriculum has been peer reviewed and was selected by Next Generation Science Standards and featured as a “Quality Example of Science Lessons and Units." Our curriculum is in partnership with Lonely Whale's Catch the Wave platform and generously supported by our cause partner COSTA.
Ocean Heroes Bootcamp
On June 2-5 in New Orleans we hosted our first annual Ocean Heroes Boot Camp, created in collaboration with UN Environment, Lonely Whale, OceanWise and Captain Planet Foundation. This FREE experiential training program is designed to provide youth aged 11-18 with the scientific knowledge, campaign development tools, and support necessary to tackle single-use plastics in their communities. We can't wait to see how this program evolves next year! Stay tuned for more information.
Mi Mar/My Sea
The 5 Gyres program Mi Mar/My Sea piloted in Fall 2017 with the goal of engaging diverse groups of underserved high school students in one-day, citizen science research expeditions. Using a 5 Gyres signature trawl, students collect plastic pollution samples and analyze the findings, while learning about the history, impacts and solutions to plastic pollution. In 2018, 400 students from Sunburst Youth Academy, representing 100 schools throughout California, will experience the program. Many are inspired to reduce single-use plastic in their communities. This diverse group of next generation leaders is continuing the fight for a planet free of plastic pollution.
Thanks to California State Coastal Conservancy, Captain Planet Foundation, COSTA, Klean Kanteen, Nordic Naturals, Newport Landing Whale Watching, Sunburst Youth Academy Foundation and West Marine's BlueFuture for their support!
The 5 Gyres team has covered more than 50,000 miles across the North Pacific, North Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and South Atlantic Gyres, as well as the Great Lakes, to study plastic pollution. Through our educational presentations, we bring the expedition experience to students and parents, teaching conservation through action and engaging school communities to think about how to protect our oceans by making smarter choices on land. These presentations and workshops take place in auditoriums, classrooms, and on field trips, and can be tailored to an elementary, middle, high school or college level; they are also appropriate for parent groups. In the greater Los Angeles area, Title 1 schools may apply to participate at no cost through our scholarship program, which is generously supported by Nordic Naturals, a 5 Gyres cause partner.
My Life, My Land, My Sea (2016)
My Life, My Land, My Sea was a environmental leadership program created in partnership with the United States Forest Service and California State University, Chico. My Life engaged a diverse population of university students using the watershed approach to conservation education through a combination of hands on, science based fieldwork and classroom instruction on the history, science, policy, advocacy, and solutions to plastic pollution. The primary goal of the program was to build a more integrated, diverse community of next generation leaders equipped with the tools to drive local, sustainable solutions to plastic pollution; another was to illustrate the irrefutable connection between the health of our oceans, lands, and human life. My Life provided engaging programs and perspectives that help to coalesce these core concepts into a comprehensible format that inspired positive changes through education, activism, public service and leadership development.
Every Kid in a Park (2016)
President Obama's Every Kid in a Park Initiative was developed to introduce 4th graders across the nation to public lands in an effort to build the next generation of outdoor stewards. Children who participated in the program received park passes, which provide free access to all federal lands and waters during the school year. As part of the Every Kid in a Park Initiative, 5 Gyres worked with the United States Forest Service to educate 2,000 4th graders in Los Angeles and Hawaii on the plastic pollution issue and how it affects our public lands.
Bahamas Youth Summit (2015)
5 Gyres, The Island School, Cape Eleuthera Institute, Jack Johnson and All at Once partnered together to bring 75 local Bahamian, American, and international students to the Cape Eleuthera Institute for a 3-Day Youth Action Island Summit in the Summer of 2015. Students participated in lectures, workshops and a larger scale beach cleanup, all focused on generating solutions to plastic pollution for island nations.
GyreSailors was launched in 2015 as a pilot project to build a stronger relationship with the sailing community. The project focused on developing an environmental program for sailing students with the Treasure Island Sailing Center, integrating the programming into the Center's existing Sailing Summer Camp Programs. 5 Gyres lead students in citizen science and educational efforts during two Summer Camp Programs, reaching over 50 students directly and close to 600 people (parents, staff and the local community) indirectly. Carrying out our citizen science protocols to analyze microplastics on a nearby sandy beach with the students, all under 10-years old, was our biggest success. The students were very engaged and learned simple solutions, and were asked to analyze their bathrooms for microbeads.
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Thank you to our program sponsors!