OPC continues its support of the Nauset Regional Middle School’s Summer Science Institute, which offers students a three week hands-on environmental and technology experience in the service of our fragile marine and freshwater environment.
The mission of this program is two-fold: to increase all students’ interest in Environmental Science careers and, particularly, to encourage more female student participants, who have traditionally been less involved in this field. OPC was a founding financial sponsor of the Institute, which began in 2014, with an initial focus on students building remote controlled submersible robots and using them to test the water quality of our local ponds, later producing public service videos to share their findings with the community.
In 2016, the Summer Institute expanded its focus to include the environmental connections among air, land and sea. Fifty one attendees spent one week exploring each domain learning how to protect them individually for the good of whole environment. Activities included using drones to film erosion and runoff areas, demonstrating the chain reaction of pollution, building edible aquifers to show how runoff, wells, and septic tanks can harm groundwater and proving the benefit of vertical gardens. Students aren’t the only ones learning from this work; OPC is too! The program is letting us all know we need to pay attention to the variety of chemicals we put down our drains, not just the nitrogen and phosphorous we typically focus on from our septic systems.
Throughout the school year, students also learn about OPC and the critical need for water quality in other Middle School venues including computer and art courses and the greenhouse and afterschool programs. We appreciate the Middle School’s continued support both in their school curriculum and as participants in our “Celebrate Our Waters” weekend. Getting students interested and involved in the environment will create a lifetime interest, benefitting us for years to come.
Think about what you can do to help your children learn to appreciate and develop environmentally friendly practices. Take a look through our BluePages for many suggestions you can adopt for your home and for your activities. Start today!