H2O SOS series is an interactive experience in which students use hands-on activities to learn about threats to ocean health, personally take action to alleviate the threat, and promote awareness and prevention through outreach in their local community.
The program begins with a field studies field trip in Newport Beach! During their excursion, students will learn about local threats and opportunities to contribute to improving the health of the ocean. Depending on the time of year, field trips may include a visit to our local estuary, white seabass growout pen, and open water, as well as hands-on activities in our learning spaces in the Balboa Fun Zone!
During the program, students will lead as they learn. At their schools sites, students use Ocean Quest H2O:SOS materials and guidance to lead their team through a series of hands-on activities related to a specific ocean threat. After learning about a variety of threats to ocean health, each student team chooses an area of focus. Using scientific inquiry skills in a real-world environment (e.g., the beach, estuary, or harbor), students observe and gather data about their focus issue and develop a plan to solve or raise awareness about the status of the issue in the local environment. For example, students might recommend stopping an activity that causes the threat, finding an alternative to the activity that is harming the ocean, or recommend removing the threat (e.g., replace invasive plant species with native plants or participate in a marine life replenishment program). In order to connect students with people and resources that can help them design their campaigns, Ocean Quest points them to a variety of environmental organizations and cleanup/action (restoration, monitoring, etc.) opportunities. Next, students develop an awareness campaign. Each H20 SOS team selects a “focus threat” and designs a campaign using collected data, images, and/or videos reflecting the focus threat to the environment. Finally, students are encouraged to present their public awareness campaign at local community events to encourage the larger community to become ocean stewards.
The overarching goals of the H2O SOS program is for students to understand the interconnection between humans and the ocean and to use this knowledge to empower them to protect and restore this precious resource. Through this unique approach, students will develop critical 21st century skills, including problem solving, critical thinking, persistence, resiliency, questioning, collaboration, and leadership, as they develop a process for examining the unknown. Additionally, a positive by-product of this program is that students connect to multiple ocean-related educational and career pathways. Thus, students help the environment while expanding their worldview!
H2O:SOS programs is designed for students in grades 6-12. The program may be run either as an after-school club or during the school day. We are also open to including "informal" groups, such as Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops, but students must be in grades 6-12, and priority is given to public, Title I schools in Orange County and Los Angeles County.
Each program in the H2O SOS series requires a minimum commitment of 60 minutes of instructional time for each of the six units between January and March. The 60-minute sessions can be divided into two 30-minute segments or other configurations at the discretion of the instructor. Additionally, lessons to extend learning further are included in the program. All of the resources and teaching materials are provided by Ocean Quest. Teacher preparation for the program is minimal, as it has been designed to have students leading the lessons. Materials will be provided to the teacher at their Field Studies Field Trip and all non-consumable items are to be returned at the conclusion of the program.
Student participants must commit to at least two stewardship (cleanup) events during the program. These events can occur in the local community, on your school grounds, or in a location selected by the students. Alternatively, students can opt to participate in large-scale cleanups selected from a list provided by Ocean Quest.
To learn more about the H2O SOS series, please watch this video showing students engaged in the Operation Marine Debris counterpart program: http://vimeo.com/116494177.
To participate, please acknowledge that you have read the program description, and then continue to the Interest Survey.