As part of VLT's partnership with Hurricance Island Center for Science and Leadership, visiting scientists helped Vinalhaven students cultivate kelp in the classroom. Students then planted their kelp offshore of Hurricane Island, where they returned to harvest it this past spring. This is an excellent way to learn science while helping to conduct an important study on Penobscot Bay aquaculture.
All three sessions of VLT's nature-based summer camp were grand successes, chock-full of the outdoor adventures and explorations that make Maine summers so unforgettable.
Thank you to all who participated. We look forward to seeing you next year!
Grades 3-5 were able to take a trip with MCHT steward Kirk Gentalen to study salamanders and locate active vernal pools in Perry Creek Conservation Area. These students explored the many woods and streams, identifying hundreds of salamander egg sacs and reporting back to the Land Trust. These jelly sacs of eggs represent important data for conservation, and perfect specimens for science education. Nice work, elementary schoolers!
Leaders from University of Maine's Tanglewood Learning Centers visited the island for a nature hike with Vinalhaven School's youngest students. These Tanglewood professionals engaged students in their environment through interactive lessons and educational games, but the biggest lesson was learned from the youngsters themselves: that the forest is a limitless venue for imagination
Local geologist George Kendrick brought grades 3-5 to Lane's Island, Tip Toe Mountain, and all the way across the Thorofare to compare the geology of North Haven with that of Vinalhaven (which is apparently a volcano tipped on its side!). Students spent the whole day in the field, solidifying their work in earth sciences by finding fossils and studying unique rock structures. At the end of the day they earned a comprehensive view of the island from the summit of Tip Toe.
As the culminating event to a year researching the potential for kelp aquaculture on Vinalhaven with scientists from Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, middle and high school students at Vinalhaven School spent time on Hurricane Island comparing water quality and site observations to our mini-aquaculture site in Carver's Harbor. They analyzed growth rates to hypothesize what environment best suits aquaculture and brainstormed questions for fishermen and officials. What a way to involve students in real-life, relevant science!