In the summer of 2019, VIMS and CBNERR will host four week-long summer programs for students in grades 1-8, including possibly one week-long overnight camp to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, three Discovery Lab public outreach events, and one three-day Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE) course. Through these programs, an increase in understanding and appreciation for the Chesapeake Bay and their local environment, as well as creating a sense of stewardship within the students, teachers, and the public participating, is the goal. Intern responsibilities during these programs include revising as necessary, and implementing, an evaluation strategy for each program, specifying evaluation plans for varying age levels and program types. The hypothesis for this portion of the project is whether or not the programs are increasing student/teacher/public knowledge and behavior change towards the Chesapeake Bay.
Between implementation and compilation of evaluations, the intern will also be responsible for supporting education programs both in the lab and field. Programs include but are not limited to canoe, vessel, and wading trips. The intern will work with education staff to develop age-appropriate science experiments/research projects for each of the week-long camps. The intern will also organize mini Science Fair type exhibits for parents to cycle through at the end of each camp. Some examples of other activities to be led by the intern would be shark dissection, seining in the York River, water quality testing and data collection, salt marsh exploration, canoeing through Virginia’s salt and freshwater areas, and investigating a barrier island.
The Intern will gain experience working in both a formal and informal education setting (outdoors and indoors); participate in other NERRS programs such as the water quality monitoring program and/or the stewardship and research programs when available; work with a variety of student age groups; implement evaluations created; and prepare an evaluation report at the end of the internship to be presented to the VIMS Outreach Committee.