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'School Bus on Steroids' Will Teach Students STEM with Hands-On Learning

'School Bus on Steroids' Will Teach Students STEM with Hands-On Learning

ExplorOcean of Southern California has unveiled a pontoon boat to add to its non-profit literacy center that will help students study and understand marine life outside of the classroom.

"Its chief executive, Tom Pollack, said the boat, which seats 49 passengers in bench-style rows, will help the center's teaching staff get more students out on the water for a hands-on experience with marine life that would be nearly impossible to replicate inside a classroom," according to The Daily Pilot.

Pollack referred to the boat as a "school bus on steroids," as the $160,000 vessel will transport students to an estuary as well as the California Institute of Technology's William G. Kerckhoff Marine Laboratory where students will be able to meet with scientists and learn the latest info about current research.

ExplorOcean's new project aims to take students who may have never been on a boat and who have thus far had limited experience with the ocean and give them a hands-on learning experience that the classroom could never replicate.

By providing students with meet-and-greets with scientists in the field, students are also provided early mentors who can help more students garner an interest for STEM.

"'This vessel is going to be the best classroom...Even though the students know there's fish down there, they're always so surprised to see them in person,'" said ExplorOcean's director of education, Wendy Marshall, according to the article.

Read the full story and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/18/2015

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