the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Marine Science program proves that firsthand experience is the way to go

The Marine Science program demonstrates the importance of including field research within curriculum.
Allison Misiewicz
Three Honors Marine 3 students(Jake Seubert, Madison McAvoy, and Will Schindler), suited in their wetsuits, prepare to explore the great wonders of the Key Largo reefs.

Back in November of this year, a group of Marine Science students visited the Marine Lab in Key Largo to expand their studies in the field. Last week, the Honors Marine 3 class participated in a beach cleanup field trip down on the causeway, an extension of the mission started in September to increase environmental awareness.

Upper school science teacher, Mrs. Allison Misiewicz, emphasized the significance of field experiences in teaching marine conservation issues. She highlighted how beach cleanups raise awareness and make a difference beyond just picking up trash.  

“I think [the beach cleanup] does influence their behavior,” Misievicz said.  “It at least makes them think about their behavior, and how the choices they make on a daily basis affect the environment,” says Misiewicz.

The Marine Science program at Saint Stephen’s, which really came into its own with the building of the Marine Science Center in 2016, is not just about textbooks and lectures; it’s about immersing students in the environment they seek to understand. 

The program prioritizes experiential learning through field trips and boat excursions, and it’s designed to provide students with hands-on experiences that supplement traditional classroom learning. 

Field trips like the one to the Keys and last week’s beach clean-up play a crucial role in this approach, allowing students to engage directly with marine environments and conservation efforts.

“In Marine 3, we focus on marine conservation issues,” Misiewicz said.  “And one of the big issues that is happening in the ocean right now is marine debris.

“It fits in nicely to raise awareness and have the kids out there, actively doing something.” 

Immersing students in real-world environments gives them a deeper understanding of marine ecosystems, conservation challenges, and scientific research methods.

Students also seem to get how field experiences like the trip to the Keys and the clean-up have shaped their understanding and passion for marine science. By observing coral reefs firsthand and participating in beach cleanups, Madison McAvoy said she feels a deeper connection to her studies and a sense of responsibility to protect marine ecosystems.

“My project is about coral, and one of the reasons I wanted to do that is because they are dying, and the keys helped with that because when I went down there, a lot of it was dead,” McAvoy said.  “It reaffirmed why I want to do my project and the purpose of it.”  

Field research is not just an educational tool; it’s a transformative experience that cultivates students’ curiosity and environmental stewardship. Through hands-on learning in marine environments, students develop a profound understanding of scientific concepts and a lifelong passion for marine science. 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Sarah Black
Sarah Black, Staff Writer
Sarah Black is a junior at Saint Stephen's and a first year member of the Gauntlet. Aside from being a staff writer, she enjoys spending her free time snorkeling and watching Zack and Cody. She also enjoys spending time with her two golden retrievers, and her favorite color is gray.
Grace Baxendale
Grace Baxendale, Staff Writer, Staff Artist
Grace Baxendale is a Sophomore and a first year staff writer on The Gauntlet. She enjoys art, gaming, and listening to music in her free time. She’s watched almost every horror movie released, although she also likes thrillers and drama. She also has two cats that mean the world to her. Her favorite artists are Radiohead, Wave to Earth, Deftones, and Slowdive. 


Comments (0)

Comments are expected to be respectful and constructive. We do not permit the use of profanity, crude language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Commenters must provide their name; no anonymous comments will be accepted.
All the Gauntlet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *