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Nahant marine education program wraps up a successful year

The MSC outreach program is wrapping up another successful spring field season, and one of the highlights has been completing the first full year of marine educational programs with the Johnson Elementary School in Nahant. Thanks to generous funding from the Nahant Education Foundation, the MSC outreach program has been able to see every student at the Johnson School for three marine science programs in the 2015-16 school year via a combination of field trips and classroom visits.


5th graders graphed and presented their finding from an invasive species studies that they conducted during a field trip to the Lynn Wharf.


On their spring field trip, 6th graders present findings from a Salem water quality study, in which they compared samples from the back of the Forest River Marsh, to the mouth of the marsh, to Salem Harbor.










Nahant Harbormaster Rob Tibbo gives the Kindergarten class a talk on water safety during their field trip to the Nahant Wharf.

Highlights from spring field trips included the 2nd grade coastal wetlands study at the Mass Audubon’s Nahant Thicket, preschool visit to the Marine Science Center, the 3rd grade sand study at Dog Beach, and the 4th grade visit to Salem State University’s Cat Cove Marine Lab and aquaculture facility.

Another exciting event made possible by this collaborative project was a live Skype session with MSC Professor Bill Detrich who spoke to the 4th, 5th and 6th grade students from his research site at Palmer Station in Antarctica. Students and Johnson School staff were so grateful for this opportunity to virtually experience life at the “bottom” of the world.

Student excitement during programming and teacher feedback indicate that participants agree that these programs are a fun and meaningful way increase STEM and environmental literacy among Nahant students, whose lives are so closely tied to the ocean, in our small coastal community.


Students and teachers alike had many great questions for Professor Detrich, during the Skype session, regarding his work in Antarctica.


Outreach program coordinator Carole McCauley (right) and instructor Val Perini (left) celebrate the successful partnership, and wish a happy retirement to outgoing Johnson School Principal Diane Mulcahy.


Algae pressings created by second graders during a winter class visit.

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