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 Southern California, 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.
NextGen Educational Curriculum (June 2017)
In 2017, we are working with ASPIRE Schools to update our curriculum to Next Generation Science Standards, a framework developed by states to improve science education for all students. In June, our K-12 educational curriculum will be available as a free download and will be used to inform our educational presentations. With generous support from our cause partner COSTA, we are also working to translate some of our materials into Spanish.
Mi Mar/My Sea (September/October 2017)
Launching in Fall 2017 with a select group of Title 1 high schools, the goal of the Mi Mar/My Sea program is to engage diverse groups of underserved high school students in one-day research expeditions. Students will learn about plastic pollution through hands-on citizen science aboard a boat off the coast of Los Angeles, generously donated by cause partner Newport Whales. Using a 5 Gyres signature trawl, they will collect samples and analyze the findings, while learning about the history, impacts, and solutions to plastic pollution, including tangible actions they can take to reduce plastic pollution in their communities. The students will then be challenged to launch their own plastic pollution reduction projects either in the classroom or in their community. The goal is to engage and empower a diverse group of next generation leaders to continue the fight for a planet free of plastic pollution. Thanks to Newport Whales and their amazing whale watching and marine conservation programs for making this program possible!
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.