BioBoat’s mission is to bring science to all school children and provide an opportunity for meaningful experiential learning by participating in the scientific research community. In turn, building the next generation of environmental stewards and socially responsible citizens. How do we achieve this?
If the end goal is to create the next generation of environmental stewards, then they need to be equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions. Our curriculum, lessons and activities are aligned with state, national and international standards to ensure the material being taught in the classroom will be realized in the field.
Yes, marine biology and environmental sciences are the main focus of our curriculum, however, there are other aspects to the BioBoat experience, designed to incorporate important elements of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Careers in the maritime industry will be highlighted, allowing students to consider futures in engineering, building and navigation. In addition, BioBoat is a floating example of the advantages of incorporating green technologies in today’s tenuous future with regards to climate change.
A 65’ diesel-electric hybrid research vessel navigating the Hudson River, Jamaica Bay and surrounding estuaries is our not so subtle message to the world that green technologies are the answer to many of our energy, climate and pollution issues. Hopefully, stepping aboard such a research vessel will open the minds of our students to the possibility of pursuing a career in STEM fields. But perhaps less conspicuous in the “navigate” message is that we will bring the lab, bring the learning, bring the boat to the schools. Too many schools lack the resources and physical lab space to provide experiential science education to their students. However, with a team of dedicated educators and volunteers aboard a mobile classroom docking near to schools, the expenses of bus transportation, laboratory equipment and technology will be lessened.
Once the students are aboard our mobile lab and on the verge of constructing an understanding of the delicate (but achievable) balance between society and nature, our end goal can become reality. It is time to participate. Participating is also a two-fold experience on the BioBoat. First, an educational trip with us is not simply a field trip to get students outside and to the water. Although valuable, students will take this a step further by sharing observations and data they have collected. We have been fortunate to form great partnerships with influential research organizations in our community including DEC, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Science an Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, LH Prism, BioBus, The Harbor School, TREC, 5 Gyres and many more. Our curriculum is designed around the pertinent environmental issues our partner organizations are researching. Therefore, the data the students collect, and then share, will be of potential value to their studies.